2000 Sydney Games, 2004 Athens Games
Medal count: One gold, one bronze
A Wyoming native who grew up wrestling cows on his family's farm, Gardner became one of the best feel-good stories from the Olympics when he beat Russian Aleksandr Karelin in the Greco-Roman final. Karelin hadn't lost in 13 years, winning gold at the previous three games as part of 887 career victories. Gardner, meanwhile, was joined in Sydney by his family, who financed their trip by selling his dad's sausage stew at the county fair. Gardner went on to win a bronze in 2004.