<p><span></span>Rulon Gardner defeated Russian wrestler Alexander Karelin at the 2000 Olympics to win the gold medal, but now he's facing a bigger challenge: losing the weight he gained after his amazing triumph. </p>
"Biggest Loser is harder than the Olympics," Rulon, 39, tells Life & Style. "The thing that makes it so challenging is that I had all this extra weight that I had gained. Jumping back into a very intensive workout routine for six to eight hours a day is one of the most grueling things I've ever had to do because my mind was there, but my body wasn't."
Rulon weighed 474 pounds on the Jan. 4 premiere of the NBC show. "I haven't worked out in six years, so I'm paying the price right now," he says. "The issues like diabetes, heart conditions, sleep apnea and all that other stuff make you realize that you have to act now in order to save your life."
The Biggest Loser: Couples airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of NBC
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