Thursday, July 31, 2008

San Jose

Sorry about the San Jose post being blank for a few days. But now we can fix it. San Jose was great. The weather was very nice, and the drive from San Francisco was beautiful. Right off the plane we were greeted by USOC people and from here on out you are sheep getting on a truck. (Well maybe a little better. ) We met up with our Team leader Jon Bardis and drove to San Jose St. When we got there we got checked in and grabbed some lunch before processing.

Processing is when we take a bunch of pictures, do security stuff, get our gear and wait a lot. We pretty much had to try everything on, and it took a very long time. Nike and Ralph Lauren really hooked us up. Much more quality stuff compared to Athens. Wait til you see the opening ceremony git up. It is going to be a very sharp but sweaty occasion.

Later that night we went to eat at Mortons Steak house with Jon. They took care of us, and it was nice to get a good piece of meat before we head over to China.

The next morning we had some briefing about what's going on in China, the village, media, all the good stuff. Then we had a 2 hour ambassador program with Brandi Chastain (Soccer player on SI cover). She did a nice job and seemed very down to earth with her explanations of everything. Very nice person with a lot of credentials. It was very motivating and everyone got a chance ask some questions and interact. We have been here with the women's volleyball team, women's gymnastics, badminton, some track and field and some medical staff. Everyone is very friendly, and you can see a lot of fire in the athlete's eyes. Very relaxed and calm, but very sharp at the same time. Professional!

Now we head to China on the 1st, and I'll tell you about the village and the trip when I get there.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Fun Stuff

Well here we go again. It's Tuesday night, and I feel like writing about a couple of things I like to do. In my spare time I can usually be found out on a stream trying to trick a rainbow or a brown into taking a meal on a fake bug. I usually have pretty good luck but the last time I was out the water was really high on the Platte river, and I actually was carried down stream a bit, and yes I filled my waders. Now if you can all stop laughing for a second, I will tell you that my favorite thing to do is take rookie fisherman on a trip and get them on a fish. This year I have taken two. My brother-in-law Keith(who is green but not a rookie) was pretty successful on his trip, and we had a great time. I also took Jake Dietchler(one of my teammates) to a very secluded area where you get plenty of chances, but ol Jake didn't feel like catching any that day. Oh well... So far everyone I have taken whether it's my brother, Russ, or my friends from the east coast, Jay Antonelli and Todd Beckerman, they always seem to have a great time. It's a great adventure and no one has ever complained about the beautiful Colorado scenery.

I also enjoy swinging the ol wrenches out on the golf course. A favorite place for the athletes from the OTC to play at is Patty Jewitt Golf course. Yesterday, I played with Sean Stender, Mark Rial, and Robbie Smith. Watching Robbie tee off is always eventful, because he could drive it 300 yards down the fairway or the ball may take the craziest bounce and come back and hit him in the gut. No matter who plays, it is always a great time and very relaxing from the confines of our sport.

Well training is right on schedule. I leave for San Jose on Wednesday for two days and then off to Beijing on Friday. I am so excited for this tourney that I can't even express my emotions. I believe it is going to be a great experience, and I have never been as prepared for a competition as I am now. Time to let go and perform. Let's wrestle.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Team USA

Tonight I am going to talk about our team a little bit so not everything is about me. After winning the World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan(First time in US History for Greco Roman), and having a core group of athletes that were pretty consistent since 2005, we now have a lot of new faces showing up for the Olympics.

Besides myself, TC Dantzler and Dremiel Byers have been very familiar faces since 2002. Byers won the Worlds in 02 and took a bronze in 07. He is a major player at heavyweight every time he steps on the mat. If he has a good tourney in Beijing, he may be dancing once again after the finals. TC has been so close to a medal on several occasions. He is due and as a 37 year old no one has the experience this guy holds. What a way to go out. On top at the Olympics.

The young guns on our team are really exciting. Jake Dietchler, Spenser Mango and Adam Wheeler are full of energy and training hard. They love the "fight" involved in our sport and are not intimidated by any of the competition we will see in the next few weeks. Even though they are young, they have shown a lot of maturity and leadership. Our coaches are excited about unleashing these guys on the world.

As for myself, I am just trying to enjoy every part of this journey. The good days, the bad days(not to many) and everything in between. My girlfriend, Candace, and our pet rabbit, Larry(named after Larry David, Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm), keep my mind off of wrestling in my down time. If I need more space, I take them fishing.(Larry really isn't good at fishing, but he is always entertaining.)

Well I'll catch you all later. Taking off on Wednesday, but I will blog before then and in China when I arrive.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ring it on

Hey everybody,

I'm in. I know a lot of people have been waiting for me to get going on this thing, but I have been just crazy busy. With the help of my wonderful girlfriend Candace, we finally got set up this morning. I hope the Q & A was interesting and maybe answered some questions you may have about me.

Since the trials I have been so busy. I wanted to start training immediately, but that was kind of put on hold by a trip to New York for some fund raising, and I actually got to be at the ringing of the 'Closing Bell' on Wall Street. I'm in the way back, next to Lee Kemp, because I had just finished arm throwing one of the analysts(Dylan Ratigan, Fast Money). So I barely made it, but it was a great experience. The training has been great since them. Very tough and the team has responded well. No whining and a very positive energy around our room. We have pushed through tough situations and been smart when we have had to.

We started our first camp in Colorado Springs. It has been extremely challenging both physically and mentally. We have some wrestlers from Germany and Uzbekistan training with us, and they are 'tough as nails' like usual. It is always great to train with foreign competitors because the way the europeans train and compete is a lot different then us.
Check in with me soon as I will talk about our team, the first camp and our trip to Vegas last weekend.


Hey everyone! Welcome to my blog. I would like to thank Lenovo for giving me this opportunity to share some stories about my journey to Beijing. I'm currently in Colorado Springs where I live and train at the Olympic Training Center. Here's a quick Q&A that you can also find in more detail on my personal website'll write again tonight.

Q: What is your favorite quote?
A:You will find as you look back upon your life, that the moments that stand out, the moments when you have really lived; are the moments you have done things in the spirit of Love.~Henry Drummond

Q: What do you admire the most about your father?
A:His work ethic and his sense of humor

Q: What is one luxury item that you could not do without?
A: Coffee Maker

Q: What are the top songs on your iPod?
A: Anything country

Q:What is your pre-match ritual?
A:No pre-rituals, no superstitions.

Q: Where is a place in Colorado that you would recommend visitors check out?
A:Any mountain town in the winter.They are beautiful.

Q:What is the best thing about competing on the USA Greco Team?
A:We are a very close knit team, and we all pull for each other.I think we inspire one another by our performance, work ethic, toughness and even skill wise.

Q: Describe a pivotal moment in your career.
A:When Momir moved to Colorado Springs to be our coach.Great coach, even better person.

Q: What sport would you be competing in if not for greco-roman wrestling?
A:I love football, but just a little to small.

Q: What is your hometown best known for?
A: Hard work and family.

Q: What is your motto?
A: Work hard, no whining and love what you do.