To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world
By William May
（Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public
Kyodo World Services, senior sports writer：email@example.com）
Olympic champion hospitalized with hypothermia after rescue
AFTON, Wyo. (AP) _ Olympic wrestling champion Rulon Gardner
was hospitalized Friday (Feb. 15) for hypothermia
and possible frostbite after spending the
night outdoors when he became stranded while
Gardner spent the night
in temperatures of 15 to 20 degrees below
zero (-25/-28 C) and is lucky to be alive,
said Lincoln County Sheriff Lee Gardner,
a distant cousin of the Greco-Roman wrestling
gold medalist. "In that kind of
weather it's unusual for someone to stay
outall night like that and survive without
any kind of shelter. But he's a strong man,
and he made it,'" Lee Gardner said.
The wrestler was snowmobiling
with three friends when he became bogged
down in deep snow in the Bridger-Teton National
Forest near his hometown of Afton, said Lt.
Rescuers on snowmobiles
and snowshoes launched a search in the dark
after the friends reported him missing about
7:40 p.m. Thursday, Malik said. The pilot
of a search plane sent out Friday spotted
him about 8 a.m.
Gardner was wearing several
layers of clothing but was not adequately
dressed for an overnight stay outdoors, the
sheriff said. Authorities were concerned
when he did not get up to retrieve some extra
clothing that a helicopter dropped to him.
The helicopter landed
and Gardner was flown to Star Valley Medical
Center in Afton. He later was taken to Eastern
Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls,
Idaho, about 100 miles away, for treatment
for possible frostbite.
Malik said he did not
know if Gardner was able to build a shelter.
The sheriff said he helped Gardner into a
wheelchair after the helicopter landed at
the Afton hospital. Gardner was able to communicate,
but not much, and struggled to walk, the
"He had so much ice
on his feet I don't think he was able to
walk," Lee Gardner said.
The friends left the forest
because they were running out of fuel for
their snowmobiles, Malik said. Gardner was
the only one unable to get his snowmobile
out of the rugged, steep terrain and soft
Gardner abandoned his
snowmobile near Wagner Lake and struck out
on foot, said Benton Smith, program manager
Greys River District of the Bridger-Teton
National Forest. "He had moved down
that drainage several miles in the night,"
Smith said. "He was walking at daylight
down the drainage."
Gardner was found in the
Salt River drainage, about five miles southeast
of the town of Smoot.
Gardner beat three-time
Olympic champion Alexander Karelin of Russia
to win a gold medal in perhaps the greatest
upset at the Sydney Olympics. Karelin hadn't
lost an international match in 13 years. Gardner
followed up by capturing the Greco-Roman
Wrestling World Championships in December.