Former WWE and TNA star Kurt Angle recently spoke with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, and below are some interview highlights:
On his battle with addiction and staying clean:
“I treat the battle with addiction the same way I treated my Olympic gold medal. I realize I’m not going to overcome my addiction overnight, just like I knew I wasn’t going to win the gold medal overnight. It is one day at a time, which is the same way I trained. Every day I trained was important, and I treated every day like it was my last training session. Now, I treat my addiction like I treated my training.
“Every day is important to stay clean–not only for me, but also for my family. If I make the wrong move, I’m dead and my kids are fatherless. That’s helped me stay clean, and I’ve been really blessed not to have any triggers. None of that has happened to me. I really believe that God gave me the work ethic and the ability to have a strong will. That doesn’t mean I can’t fall–I fell into it. I got addicted and was really messed up, but to stay out of addiction takes as much hard work as I did with the Olympics. That’s what I do–I work hard and stay clean each day.”
On a possible WWE return:
“I had a talk with WWE. It’s confidential. I will not be returning for the draft. Possibly in the future, most likely next year, but that is not a guarantee. It was a loose conversation but I will be in touch with Triple H [Paul Levesque] in the future.”
On his relationship with Vince McMahon:
“Vince always cared about me. He’s a good guy, and he felt like he was my father figure. I admired Vince’s work ethic and drive. He was a machine. He was willing to sacrifice so much to be a success, and he was one of those guys who I feared and looked up to. I feared him the same way I feared my father. I was right – he was a good guy. He would tell me when I screwed up, and he’d tell me how to fix it. He basically said, ‘Listen, you won an Olympic gold medal. Very few people on this planet have ever done that. You’re special, you can kick this thing.’ But I fell back into it.”