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Gable Steveson nearing WWE debut but now also targeting second Olympic gold medal in 2024

Wrestling - Olympics: Day 14 Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Gable Steveson might just be the busiest athlete on the planet.

For the past seven months, the 2020 Olympic gold medal wrestler been hard at work learning how to transition to the world of professional wrestling after inking a deal to join the roster at World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). As it stands, Steveson is ready to go for his WWE debut and is simply waiting on the call to officially hit the ring.

But it turns out that’s not all Steveson has planned for the near future.

He also has another gold medal on his mind.

“I miss being on the mats,” Steveson told MMA Fighting. “I miss showcasing my skills every year and going out there and putting on a good show and going out there and winning the national tournament. I miss it. I still have that competitive fighter and hope to get back out there really soon.

“I know the Olympics is next year and I hope to be a part of that and keep moving forward and keep winning big titles for the USA also.”

At the 2020 Olympic games (which took place in 2021 due to the global pandemic), Steveson pulled off one of the craziest finishes in history after he scored a takedown with less than one second remaining in his match to claim the gold medal. Seven months later, Steveson won a second NCAA championship for the University of Minnesota before leaving his shoes in the middle of the mat to signify his retirement from wrestling.

Now, Steveson says he has that competitive fire burning inside him again — with a desire to potentially pursue another gold medal in 2024.

“I would love a second run,” he said. “I feel I have a lot more left in the tank to showcase. I want to prove USA right and keep moving forward overall and become one of the best American amateur wrestlers ever, and I hope I can achieve the Bruce Baumgartner status of having a bunch of medals and having the accolades to show and be a part of WWE and be an entertainer, too.”

Baumgartner is widely considered one of the greatest wrestlers in American history after winning four total medals at the Olympics, including two golds in 1984 and 1992.

As for Steveson, he says his priority right now remains WWE, but he’s hoping the organization will support his desire to return to the Olympics next year.

“I think that’s a discussion when that time comes and that’s a discussion for how my schedule may play out, and you never know how it may play out,” Steveson said. “As of right now, it’s a yes or no, but at the end of the day, I will be ready to compete and put on a good show as always.

“I’m hoping [to return to the Olympics]. I will be ready if that time comes and I won’t stop being ready until I know if I can go and if I get that yes or no. It would be really amazing [to win a second gold medal] and I hope it happens and I hope I can do that. I feel if there’s someone who can do it, it’s me. I’ve got that burning passion to keep doing it. I believe in myself to the fullest.”

Perhaps Steveson’s biggest advantage for a possible return to the Olympics is his age.

He was only 21 when he captured gold, and thanks to the smaller time gap before the next Olympic games, Steveson would only be 23 in his second attempt.

“I’m 22 and next year I’ll be 23 at the Olympic games,” Steveson said. “It’s definitely a blessing to be able to call yourself an Olympic gold medalist and to be able to have the WWE fans recognize you with that, but in my eyes, there’s always a next and there’s always a bigger show to accomplish.

“WWE is another show to accomplish, but being a two-time Olympic gold medalist is also on the top of my list. It’s a blessing to do it and it’s unheard of, but I love the challenge and I love the fight.”

It’s hard to imagine anything slowing Steveson down, especially after he’s already accomplished so much at such a young age.

He’s anxiously awaiting the chance to prove himself in WWE and it appears a second Olympic games could be in his future as well.

“I’m pretty close to debuting and being on-screen,” Steveson said of his WWE career. “I’m just waiting for that call and waiting for that time. Some days it’s stressful because I never know when it will come and I’m used to amateur wrestling where it’s like, ‘Hey, we have the Olympics in three months or we have the Olympic trials in two months, be ready for it.’

“Right now, you’re going through the motions with no goal, and I wish I could have that goal in sight and put forth and give people real answers when I’m debuting, but it will be coming really, really soon. And when I mean really, really soon, probably after [WrestleMania] or just a little bit after that. I think being able to understand that this game is different and it’s a process and I’m going to follow the process the right way and just keep moving forward.”

If that’s not enough, Steveson is also adamant that he still plans on competing in MMA in the future as well. He’s already learning under head coach Henri Hooft at Kill Cliff MMA in Florida — the same team that houses Gilbert Burns, Michael Chandler, and Shavkat Rakhmonov. Joining them in the octagon is just one more goal Steveson has for himself.

“I’m young and I’m hungry,” Steveson said. “I want to be the best in everything I can possibly be. Step one is WWE and go out there and be the most physical, athletic, and dominant wrestler since probably Brock Lesnar, maybe even more than that.”

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