Although he is now infamous as the “Monster Among Men” in professional wrestling, Braun Strowman (real name Brian Stephenson) began his athletic career in the world of figure skating, where his exquisite performance at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver earned him the nickname “The Angel Among Cherubs.”
Strowman was considerable lighter in at the peak of his skating days — a lean 144 pounds, as opposed to today’s husky 315 pounds — but still bore his signature untamed beard, which accentuated the ethereal twirl of the quadruple axle he nailed in his silver-winning ice dance.
Strowman fell just short of his career goal of a gold medal, defeated by a mere fraction of a point by a Russian skater Dmitri Korlov (who, coincidentally, also later transitioned to professional wrestling as “Vladimir Koslov”).
At his peak in the sport, Strowman was often said to be “the next Brian Boitano,” whom Strowman idolized until, in a fit of rage, he crushed him underneath a large metal scaffolding backstage at the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships in Tokyo.
Strowman was later barred entirely from the sport when, upon being told he would be suspended for the Boitano incident, he flipped a Zamboni during competition (yet still landed a triple salchow in the process).
Following short and unremarkable careers in competitive badminton, chess, midget tossing, synchronized swimming, karaoke and ballroom dancing, Strowman eventually signed with World Wrestling Entertainment in 2013.