As part of Metro's ongoing coverage leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, we're introducing readers to the athletes who will be representing the United States. Previously: fencer Daryl Homer, gymnast Aly Raisman, swimmer Ryan Lochte, distance-runner Molly Huddle, equestrian Karen O'Connor and marathoner Ryan Hall.
Jordan Burroughs has won every wrestling tournament he's entered since 2009, and he isn't planning on breaking that streak at the 2012 Olympics.
The 24-year-old has been on an uphill journey since he started wrestling for his south Jersey high school near his hometown of Camden. When he joined the wrestling team at University of Nebraska, he was already the seventh-ranked 135-pounder in the country.
Burroughs became, and remains, a juggernaut on the freestyle wrestling scene. He broke school records and won two NCAA titles. After graduating in 2011, he went on to win the U.S. Open at 74 kilograms. He has already represented the country on the U.S. world team, where he won at the 2011 World Wrestling Championships in Istanbul and nabbed another victory at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara.
"Wrestle...Win...Repeat" is the motto he boasts to his Twitter followers, where his handle is @alliseeisgold. At a solid 163 pounds, Burroughs now prepares for his first Olympic experience, where he hopes to bring him the gold. And if his career leading up to this moment is any indication, he just might.
Metro asked Burroughs about what goes into the life and training of an Olympian.
Metro: What was it like to learn that you made the team for this year's Olympics? Were you expecting it or was it more of a surprise?
Burroughs: I was expecting to make the Olympic team. I was a World Champ in 2011, and the Olympic trials were just a stepping stone to where I wanted to be in London.
What is your typical day of training like?
A typical day of training usually includes a lift in the morning at about 10 a.m., lasting for about an hour. In addition I usually have another workout on the mat later in the afternoon, which involves live wrestling, conditioning and learning technique.
How strict is your diet when trying to maintain a specific weight? What are your favorite foods before and after a match?
I try to maintain a strict diet when approaching an event. I cut out the sweets and unnecessary calories. My favorite food before a match is pasta, and after is buffalo wings.
Who do you think will be your biggest competition in London?
There will be a lot of tough competition in London, but I think the Russian and Iranian will be my toughest opponents. They have both been multiple world medalists.
Are you looking forward to living in Olympic Village? What are you most interested in about Olympic life?
I can't wait to stay in the Olympic Village. I am excited to be surrounded by the best athletes our country has to offer, and see how they live their daily lives.
You've said you want to compete in every world competition and Olympic Games until 2017. How do you stay motivated?
I know how important the sport of wrestling is to me and how important I am to the sport of wrestling. I would like to be a guy that the U.S. can count on to win multiple medals.
Are you hoping to take home gold this summer? What do you think it would be like to earn a gold medal?
I am definitely hoping to win the Gold. It has been a dream of mine since childhood. I think it would be the most awesome experience of my life. I can't wait!