'The Biggest Loser: Couples' quitter Rulon Gardner issues statement
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/29/2011
Rulon Gardner quit The Biggest Loser: Couples for personal reasons he declined to disclose during Tuesday night's episode, and now he's still sticking to that approach and not offering much more elaboration.
"Once I reached my goal and started feeling like my old self, I felt compelled to return home and support my wife, Kamie, in the ongoing management of our personal and professional affairs," Gardner, a 39-year-old gym owner and motivational speaker from Logan, UT, said in a media statement.
"Participating on The Biggest Loser was a fantastic experience. I went on the show to get my life and my health back and I have accomplished that goal. I want to thank the trainers and all those connected with the show who helped me in that endeavor."
NBC -- which has confirmed Gardner is not eligible to participate in the season finale's $100,000 consolation weigh-in given he quit the show -- also isn't elaborating on the circumstances of The Biggest Loser contestant's departure.
"Rulon chose to leave the show for personal reasons, and we respected his wishes," NBC said in a brief statement obtained by Reuters.
In his statement, Gardner, who won a gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, also said his weight-loss journey on The Biggest Loser's eleventh season has inspired him to consider a return to his former sport.
"The real prize for me in participating on the show was regaining my life back and thanks to the show, I have accomplished that. Another exciting outcome is that I am strongly considering a return to competitive wrestling," Gardner added.
According to The Mat website, which is operated by USA Wrestling, the U.S. governing body for wrestling, Gardner spent last weekend working out alongside other wrestlers at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO.
Whether Gardner will attend next month's live finale of The Biggest Loser remains undecided, according to NBC.
"It has yet to be determined if he will attend the finale," a network spokesperson told Reality TV World.