Ryan Thorburn

Ryan Thorburn is a sports writer at the Boulder (Colo.) Camera with a degree in journalism from the University of Wyoming. He has written three books — Cowboy Up: Kenny Sailors, The Jump Shot and Wyoming's Championship Basketball History; Black 14: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of Wyoming Football and Lost Cowboys: The Story of Bud Daniel and Wyoming Baseball. For more information: RyanThorburn.com.

The youngest child of an Afton, Wyo., dairy farmer, Rulon Gardner wrestled his way to international fame, defeating three-time champion Aleksandr Karelin in Greco-Roman wrestling at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Australia. However, Gardner’s quest for more Olympic gold has been beset by numerous obstacles, including a toe amputation, a plane crash and bankruptcy.

Three-time All-American Kenny Sailors, of tiny Hillsdale, Wyo. led the University of Wyoming’s 1943 men’s basketball team to an NCAA championship in Madison Square Garden. Sailors was only 5 feet 10, but he was a great jumper and shooter, and highly skilled with a weapon of his own invention—the jump shot.