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He’s heavy BUT happy & not weighed down

Kelly Gneiting competes against three-time World ChampiByambUlambayer an earlier Sumo Sushi Experience.

Kelly Gneiting competes against three-time World Champion Byamba Ulambayer at an earlier Sumo and Sushi Experience.

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† Kelly Gneiting vs.
Byambajav Ulambayar

† Friday-Sunday (times vary)

† Germania Place,
108 W. Germania Pl.

† Tickets: $69-$89


Updated: May 17, 2013 3:05PM

I know I’m fat. I look in the mirror and don’t have any illusions.

You get the looks that any fat person gets. You get the prejudice.

I’ve been in job interviews and had that sick feeling [that they were thinking], “Do we really want this monstrosity walking around the office?”

If people want to believe those things, it’s their flaw; it’s not mine. I know what’s inside me and I’m very proud. I have high self-esteem and I’m very confident in what I’m doing.

Part of being tough is overcoming the prejudice.

During a marathon, you go out and it’s beyond your normal workout for the whole week. At least mine. I wanted to lie on the road and sleep for the last 10 miles.

I want to swim the English Channel. I want to climb Mt. Everest. And I don’t care if the world sees or not. It’s just in my blood.

I eat healthy. I run 20 miles a week. My blood pressure, last time I checked it, was 130 over 85. My heart rate is about 65 beats a minute.

I only eat about double the portion of an average person, but somehow the weight just stays on.

I was always kind of a fat, chubby kid when I was really young. But I wrestled in college at 190 and married my wife at 200.

My wife is now married to twice the man. [Laughs] She should be happy.

My sons think Daddy’s the coolest thing in the world. I have great hopes of possibly sending my oldest to Japan to begin training in a few years.

My 15-year-old daughter takes the attitude of my wife, [who] is like, “Oh, Kelly’s off doing crazy things, including wrestling almost naked,” which qualifies as crazy for most of America.

Sumo is a battle sport, and not wearing clothing like in most other sports is part of the purity of it. It’s part of going out man-on-man, spirit-on-spirit, without any energy attached to you.

I describe [Sumo] as buried treasure. Buried treasure will sit there underneath the ground until it’s discovered. And so far in America, we haven’t discovered it yet.

I’ve stuck it out and done lots of Sumo things without being a pro, and I’m still every bit as good as a pro would be.

When you’re doing this in the pros, you can’t have a family. You can’t do anything. It’s like a military atmosphere.

The three-time world champion is going to be [in Chicago]. He and I have duked it out probably 50 times in sanctioned matches over the years, and I’ve never beaten him. I don’t want to let a 360-pound guy beat me.

That saying, “What does not kill you makes you stronger,” is really true.

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