The Tragic Real-Life Story Of Kurt Angle

The Tragic Real-Life Story Of Kurt Angle


Kurt Angle may be the ultimate wrestler, with
Olympic gold and plenty of time spent in WWE. But that doesn’t mean it’s been an easy path
for the wrestler. He’s battled more than his fair share of tragedy
in his time. Here’s the tragic real-life story of Kurt
Angle. Losing his father Everything Kurt Angle has accomplished in
his life, he’s had to do without his father, who passed away decades ago thanks to a fatal
freak accident. David Angle was a crane operator who attended
all of Kurt’s wrestling matches and football games. In 1985, when Kurt was 16, his father fell
out of a 15-foot-high crane and landed on his head. Even with his skull cracked, David Angle walked
himself to the hospital, but he slipped into a coma, and died two days later. Kurt responded to this catastrophic loss by
doing what he did best: excelling at athletics. He had an amazing football performance the
same week his father passed. That said, his father’s death might’ve been
why young Kurt eventually became the man he did. As he said in his autobiography, “I grew up and overcame my fears the day [my
father] died. I vowed right then and there to become a champion,
to do whatever it took.” The murder of Dave Schultz David Schultz, who won Olympic gold in 1984,
helped Angle train for the ‘96 games, but never got to see his protege triumph. Schultz and Angle were members of Team Foxcatcher,
a wrestling squad financed by wealthy philanthropist John du Pont. Sadly, du Pont had serious mental issues that,
according to court testimony, got worse as his team prepped for the Olympics. He threatened multiple wrestlers, including
pulling a gun on one while kicking him off the team. On January 26, 1997 Du Pont shot David Schultz
three times. For that crime, du Pont was sentenced to prison,
and died behind bars in 2010. A devastated Angle wound up being the only
member of Team Foxcatcher in the Olympics, and he dedicated himself to honoring his trainer’s
memory as best he could. Breaking his neck “In case you didn’t know, I won a gold
medal with a broken freakin’ neck.” Throughout his pro wrestling career, Kurt
Angle has constantly bragged about winning his gold medal “with a broken freakin’ neck.” He’s said it enough that it’s become a well-worn
catchphrase, so it’s easy to forget just how serious the incident really was, and how it
helped to start him down a long path of injury and addiction. “Uh, three months before the Olympics, and
this is right before the Olympic tryouts, I broke my neck at the US Open.” Angle landed hard on his head during Olympic
trials, herniating two discs, cracking two vertebrae, and pulling four neck muscles. And yet, despite suffering injuries that absolutely
should’ve knocked him out of contention for the games, he soldiered on. When he went in for his MRI the next day,
his doctor ordered him to rest and heal for at least six months. That would’ve taken him out of the Olympics,
so Angle found a doctor who was, in his words, “either smart enough or stupid enough to allow
[him] to wrestle.” Angle rode this new doctor’s plan all the
way to Olympic gold, but unfortunately, he also developed a long-time need for more. Drug addiction and DUIs Kurt Angle is far from the only wrestler to
battle drug addiction, but his fight has been particularly difficult. In addition to the Olympics, Angle has suffered
many injuries as a pro wrestler, which led him to develop an addiction to painkillers
of all sorts. According to interviews, he even had a system
where he’d go from doctor to doctor, as many as ten at a time, to get various prescriptions. By 2006, he told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
he was still clean, but unfortunately, that didn’t last. During a 2014 CBS interview, Angle admitted
to a seven-year battle with a potentially lethal cocktail of morphine, Xanax, and alcohol
that he had only kicked about a year before. Along the way, those drugs helped him rack
up four DUI arrests: one in August 2013, when Angle was arrested in Texas for reckless driving. It was one too many arrests for the Olympian. Shortly after, he announced on Twitter that
he was going to rehab, saying, “In light of recent events I will immediately
be entering a rehabilitation center. I realize that this is a pivotal time in my
life and I ask for your understanding as well as your prayers and continued support.” Le’Anne’s tragic overdose By 2003, Kurt Angle had already experienced
more than enough tragedy to go with his triumphs, but more heartbreaking news was on the way. Kurt’s sister, Le’Anne, lost her life to a
heroin addiction. Her devastated brother didn’t talk about it
publicly for a long time, until a 2014 YouTube video journal he put together to chronicle
his comeback after surgery. As he explained, he dealt with her death in
roughly the same way as his father’s death and his coach’s: through athletics. In this case, he wrestled a scheduled one-hour
match with Brock Lesnar just a day after Le’Anne’s passing, and while that was an incredible
match, in retrospect Angle realizes it was a pretty awful grieving mechanism. “I didn’t deal with that, either. I went out there and had one of the best matches
of my life. I hid the pain. And you have to realize, dealing with the
pain is a part of life.” Tragedy and murder Though Kurt Angle’s life has been largely
clean and drama-free since around 2014, he recently had to deal with one of the worst
things anyone could possibly face: the realization that a family member is a killer. On September 20th, 2015, Angle’s brother David
called 911 to say his wife, Donna, was unconscious. According to him, the two had a domestic argument
that ended with her death and shortly after, David Angle was arrested and charged with
homicide. In June of 2016, David pled guilty to a lesser
charge of involuntary manslaughter, and was sentenced to a maximum of ten years in prison. While Kurt wasn’t involved in this incident,
any death in a family can be difficult to deal with, and one as senseless and violent
as this can be truly haunting.

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