For the first time since making his Olympic debut in 2012, Jordan Burroughs will not be representing the United States at the Summer Games. The 32-year-old, who won the gold in London at 74 kilograms by defeating Iran's Sadegh Goudarzi, fell to Kyle Dake at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials, ending his hopes of redemption after an early exit at the Rio Games in 2016.
Just under three weeks after his loss to Dake, Burroughs sat down with USA Wrestling and opened up about the aftermath of the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials and how he's been handling the defeat to Dake.
You can watch the full interview here, courtesy of USA Wrestling.
"I just took some time off," said Burroughs. "I think that after every competition you want to take some time to reflect, but particularly after one of that magnitude. So just took some time off, spent some time with my family, just kind of got away from it all.
"I think a lot of times our failures are so public. We live under a microscope, so it's hard to escape because everyone you see has seen you. For the next week-and-a-half, two weeks, everyone I saw, 'Hey, I watched you wrestle.' 'Hey, I watched the trials.' 'Hey, I'm so sorry.' 'Man, that stinks.' And so it was like this really weird space that you're in where I kind of want to get past that to the point where I can just have normal conversations again about the future and not necessarily about that performance."
Burroughs had Dake's number for years prior to the 2021 Trials. He'd beaten Dake seven out of eight times, including once at the 2017 U.S. Open Championships in Las Vegas.
This time, though, Dake had total control against Burroughs. After shutting him out 3-0 in the first of their best-of-three series, Dake put his stingy defense on display yet again in their second bout, edging out Burroughs 3-2 to sweep him and earn the trip to Tokyo.
Despite the discouraging loss to Dake, Burroughs has no plans to end his wrestling career. On the contrary, he plans to continue competing with hopes of participating at the 2021 World Wrestling Championships.
"I'm still gonna wrestle," he said. "One, you've got to be ready just in case someone goes down, right? So I think that, in that case, I have to always be prepared. I extremely doubt it will happen, God forbid, but I think that you always have to be prepared. And number two is typically you've got to wait another year for a chance at winning something meaningful, but there's the World Championships in October. So right now I'm gonna start to bulk up and try to make the world team at 79 kilos in September. That's my goal that I've set for myself."
Come September, Burroughs will not only be preparing for the World Wrestling Championships and getting acclimated in his new city -- he and his family are set to move to Philadelphia as he joins the Pennsylvania Regional Training Center as a resident athlete -- but he'll also be readying the arrival of his fourth child. Regardless of the result at the World Championships, it'll be quite an eventful fall for the Burroughs family.
"It's a really exciting time for us. ... We'll just move forward with confidence," said Burroughs.