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American Jordan Burroughs wins gold medal in wrestling

By Stacy St. Clair, Chicago Tribune –

LONDON—U.S. freestyle wrestler Jordan Burroughs made good on his tweeted promise to bring home a gold medal.

Now he’s looking for the Twitterverse to show him some love.

(PHOTO: United States wrestler Jordan Burroughs keeps the pressure on Iran’s Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi, left, en route to the men’s -74kg wrestling gold medal at the Summer Olympics at the Excel Arena in London, England, on Friday, August 10, 2012.)

Burroughs—who prophetically adopted the Twitter handle (at)alliseeisgold last year—defeated Iran’s Sadegh Goudarzi Friday to win America’s only wrestling gold medal so far at these Games.

On the eve of the match, he vowed to tweet a picture of himself holding his Olympic gold medal Friday evening. Shortly after finishing atop the podium, he sent out said photo, which was then retweeted more than 4,500 times in the first two hours.

“Twitter has been awesome for me,” Burroughs said.

He’d liked it to be even better.

Burroughs announced during a post-match news conference that he wants to attract 60,000 additional followers, which would bring his total number to roughly 100,000. He also hopes some of the high-profile Olympians whom he follows—namely Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps and U.S. women’s soccer star Alex Morgan—will return the favor.

“Not a lot of people knew who I was coming into the Games, but hopefully that will change after this,” he said. “I want to be among the athletes that I’ve read about and followed on Twitter, who had no idea who I was. Now maybe they’ll see me.”

Burroughs lamented that he had not received any congratulatory tweets from President Barack Obama or celebrities like Lady Gaga and Shaquille O’Neal. But he’s not giving up hope.

“I haven’t gotten anything like that yet,” he said. “I am going to keep checking.”

And Burroughs’ technology savvy does not end with Twitter. He also downloaded an app to his smartphone that allowed him to keep track of the daily medal count during the Games. He said he kept his eye on China’s gold-medal haul, vowing to do something about it when he got his chance.

The U.S. is currently leading China in both gold and total medals—something that makes the wrestler very happy.

“I wanted to be the guy who helped us out,” Burroughs said. “Even though China makes all our clothes, they can’t beat us in medals.”

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