Courtesy: Wrestling is Best
Good evening Peeps !!!
It is raining in our fair city. All day it rained cats, dogs and little fishes. And they tell us there is only more on the way, a rainfall warning is in effect and storms are on tap overnight. We are sitting at a balmy 16c at this hour.
It was a busy day today. Lots of things to do. I paid all my bills early this morning and “weeps” gave hubby $500.00 for the house. It seems we are being overrun by bills, bills, and more bills. I got out this afternoon for a haircut. I don’t know if I like it, my usual stylist was off so I sat for a stranger who just chopped my hair to pieces, and she got a little carried away because she totally missed what I told her I wanted and what she thought I wanted. It will grow out eventually.
I hit the bookstore after that and had to wait half an hour through the lunch break to buy my books, which ran me almost $80.00. I’ve been photocopying the book from the library so far because we couldn’t afford the extra money paid out. But now I need the books because I have an analytical essay to write and I need the special book that comes in the set for reading.
I put tickets on my Opus card and picked up my meds at the pharmacy, that was an expensive purchase $60.00. When all was said and done, I was in the negative on my budget sheet. I was running a tally of the money I was spending all day adding totals to the list. Hubby reimbursed me the $60.00 which gave me a little wiggle room and to have some money for the week ahead.
It’s amazing how fast one can burn through money. $762.00 up in smoke in less than 24 hours. Every penny accounted for and spent accordingly.
I got home around 3:30 and took a power nap before heading out to the meeting for set up.
*** *** *** ***
It was pouring when I left the house. Thankfully rapid transit was running right up to speed. I hit a train and a bus one after the other on the transit out. And when I got to the church, Matt and Robert were waiting for me to set up. Things get set up quickly with three people doing the work.
We had an impromptu business meeting to discuss our anniversary which falls on the 9th of December. What a fortuitous date. Linda picks up her cake, I pick up my ten year cake and the group anniversary falls on that same night. Busy Busy… But a handful of our women will be on retreat that weekend so we are going to postpone the anniversary until the 16th, the week after.
Since it rained, the count was light. But the room still felt full. A member from the group spoke. She is amid her 10th year, having just picked up her nine year cake in March. And you know, she spoke, you know, and she shared her story, you know, what it was like, what happened and what it is like now, you know…
People who don’t share often – often get stuck in the You Know… You hear it once and it is distracting, you hear it again and it becomes a pattern, then you hear it over and over for 40 minutes and by the time she got to the end you were praying for the end to come sooner than later. You Know …
When I was early in sobriety, one of our old timers used to sit and critique when we spoke or when we shared at a discussion meeting. Many people go through the “You Know” stage.
My Old Timer used to count how many times I said “You Know” during the times I spoke. He did that over and over again. Until I stopped using You Know in my speech.
This is one of those little lessons you learn if you are blessed enough to have someone point it out so that you don’t get stuck in the trap. Because nothing grates on the nerves more than listening to someone who is stuck in You Know.
At the end of the meeting we had a 24 year cake, a 45 year cake and a 19 year cake. Lots of good sobriety in the room. Lots of cake and conversation. I cleaned up the room and set off for home. I missed a bus and had to wait half an hour for another one. I got to the train station and the train was 6 minutes out. I got home after 11 – the news was on. We had a later dinner and I am still writing at the moment.
I got a very disturbing email from a good friend I grew up with for the last 30 years. We keep in touch through Facebook. I am shocked to say the least by her words and all I can do for her if offer her my prayers. If you pray, say a prayer for my friend Tina. She could use a few well placed prayers about now.
I don’t know what to expect for the weekend.
So stay tuned for more from a rainy, wet Montreal.
The other night on Discovery Science they showed a “show” about Sneakers and the BIG business they generate world wide. From how they are designed and made and why sneakers are a special commodity. It isn’t just a simple “I think we’ll make some sneakers. Let’s do this …
No, lots of design and thought go into the shoes we wear by men and women who go to great pain and art to design the perfect shoe for every foot. It even gets scientific. Scientists study feet, on high end test machines to determine what kind of shoes you really need because of how your feet are formed and what kind of shoe you need.
I am of the mind that one can never have too many shoes. Some of them I wear, and some of them I collect. Some of them come and go on Ebay because I am a keen collector of the best shoes on the market.
They had a segment on the “Bodega.” An underground, word of mouth, secret store, they are far and few between located in certain cities around the world. They deal in HIGH END sneakers and only invite those who know about it to partake in the mega business of shoe buying and selling. It was fantabulous.
I am always on the lookout for the next big score. Social media plays an integral part in getting the word out about this business. Shoe companies produce specialty shoes only sent to those “specialty stores” and not for the open market.
One off’s or Two off’s. And you would never know where that shoe came from or how many are out there and it is a buyers market for all things shoes. This is a multi-million dollar enterprise.
There are even graffiti artists and music jammers and artists by trade that make and influence how shoes are made, styled and sold. There are special underground shoe events held in key cities around the globe to show off these new creations. Shoes that are not available for mass consumption. And IF by chance you get to one of these events, you too could score a really great pair of shoes that the general public will never get to buy. And have never seen before.
Tumblr is a great vehicle for product placement. People share images of fashion, shoes, art, and jewelry, tattoos, and piercings. They run the gamut. I might see something come across the wire and then I go on a hunt for a certain product. Which leads to an “Alice in Wonderland” hunt down the rabbit hole to find a purveyor of whatever I am looking for.
Like the Nike high Dunks. I saw them in an image that is on the blog. I wanted a pair and I started with a Google search for a photo. Which lead to a website, which led to a store that sells high end sneakers. Those One Off’s you might never see anywhere else. Usually if they are on a website, for sale, there is a good chance that they will appear on Ebay. I’ve had huge success with cross referencing website sold merchandise over to Ebay site sales.
And usually the prices on Ebay are at least 10 percent cheaper than website sales and shipping is usually cheaper as well. So you get a deal.
A few weeks ago I was walking through Westmount Square and I was in the tunnel going to a meeting and I always look to see what kind of kicks people are wearing because you never know when you are going to see something you like. And this guy was wearing the same Nike High Dunks, which leads me to believe that high end sneakers are available here in Montreal.
There are numerous shoe stores in the city, in the malls and in these small hole in the wall shops that sell “one off” shoes amid souvenirs and hockey jerseys. It would take forever to find a specialty shop in the city without a Google reference.
Google is a great tool when you want to find something particular IF there is an image of it in the data base. Because usually an image will lead you to a source. But not necessarily in the city you live in. I’ve never tracked a product to this city in particular.
Which leads me all the way back around to another purchase. I am a huge fan of the Adidas Response wrestling shoes. I wear them at the gym, they are stylish and comfortable. I own 4 pair in varying colors and styles. The ones pictured above are on my radar because I once owned a pair of these at one time, but for some stupid reason I decided to sell them on Ebay a couple of years ago.
Now you know, that certain shoes are only made for a certain season. Wrestling shoes come out every fall. And every year the haul differs by maker, style, colorway and price. Adidas had their hey day over the last few wrestling seasons and the response line that I collect has since been retired. They aren’t making these style of shoes any more. And they are very hard to come by unless you find a source and pay a hefty price for them. The shops I buy from don’t carry the response line that I like and only carry a handful of colorways on clearance prices. The new responses are very different than these.
I had, over the last year, seen this same exact pair go up on the Ebay Market for $250.00 a pair.
Now, the only wrestling shoe that I know of that commands that kind of price are any of the Sydney E.Q.T 2000 wrestling shoes in several colorways. The grey and blue, the Olympic Gold white and blue and the Olympic Silver and Blue colorways. A few years ago I scored a pair of Sydney Golds. When I turned them around and put them on the market for sale I got $250.00 for them. Athletes pay top dollar for high performance shoes for their tournaments.
The other day I was hunting. And I came across a steal. These same Adidas Response Blue/White colorway were for sale for a nominal price. A price that I paid retail for a few years back for the same shoe. They are a one off bid. And only one pair available in several different sizes and they carry a couple of different colorways that aren’t made any longer.
Like I said, the line was retired.
So tomorrow when the bids close, I will have scored a brand new pair of responses for $55.00 U.S. plus shipping. Which is a hefty deal since these shoes can now run, for collectors, in the hundreds of dollars each.
One must be wiley when it comes to Ebay. You might get a hit one week, and not see another hit for months or even a year’s time. You start looking around the end of September and the beginning of October for wrestling shoes from the odd seller here or there, because they sometimes put on offer, shoes you can’t find anywhere else. And you can usually get your hands on a great pair of shoes for a deal.
I don’t shop retail locally for the most part. Most of my shoe collection came by way of Ebay or the odd store I shop from online. From work boots, to combat boots, to sneakers, to winter boots. The last time I made a shoe purchase here in the city I paid upwards of $150.00 for a pair of 20 hole Dock Martens in a specialty shop here in the city. And I rarely wear them except in the winter when it snows.
Wrestling season is upon us and the new styles and colorways are out on the market. The new styles are sleek, colorful and come in a varying style of shoe both on the Adidas and Asics market. If you are looking for a deal then this is the time to go looking for them.
Specialty stores have colorways that can’t be found anyplace else so be on the lookout for that special shoe you want. And they are usually a One Off sale.
So that is my missive on High End shoes…
Courtesy: Wrestling is Best
“We should be Thankful.”
Good evening peeps !!!
The weekend is half over. And we cooked a feast fit for a king. It was a lazy day afternoon. The turkey was chilling in the fridge and at 4 p.m. I put the bird in the oven and got ready to hit a meeting while it was baking.
I left early because I had to make sure that Sunday Nighter’s open crew figured out about the new lock system at the church. Little did I know that a change was coming. We usually sit to one side of the room close to the kitchen. But tonight the table was set in the middle of the room, in the same place that our tables go. And the seats were arranged just like I set them up as well.
The meaning behind the set up was apparent. The reason the meeting is oriented to the side of the room for the early meeting, is that the center of the room is set up for the late 7:30 p.m. speaker meeting. We just move the chairs from the side of the room to the center of the room at the end of the literature meeting.
There has been scuttle going around about the second meeting. Many of the members who chaired or participated in that meeting have been leaving the group and scattering all over the city to other meetings. It was a fair conclusion that the second meeting was coming to its proverbial end.
So it was today. The speaker meeting at Sunday Nighter’s is no more. That leaves a single literature discussion meeting at 6:15. There were a handful of people for the meeting. It was a good meeting.
*** *** *** ***
After the meeting I walked home with a friend to the Atwater Metro stop. He is a prof at Concordia University in Sociology and I am taking Sociology at Dawson so we have some interesting conversations about what we are reading for class and what he is teaching at the University level compared to what we are doing at the Cegep Level.
I got home and the turkey was sitting on the sideboard resting. And hubby was busy cooking his potatoes, stuffing and gravy. We have a very tiny express kitchen, it only allows one person to stand at the stove at any given moment.
I set out the rest of the feast. Carved the turkey with gravy, stuffing, black olives, you can’t have a holiday without olives. Cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and stuffing. It was heavenly. We have enough left overs for a couple of days.
Nothing tastes better than hot turkey sandwiches at midnight…
That is all for now. more to come, stay tuned …
By Josh Liebman – Special to TheOpenMat
If you have been around wrestling as long as I have, you realize that wrestlers are some of the most superstitious and quirky people in sports today. I actually have told people that if you were to sit down and test wrestlers, they would have most likely have the highest percentage of people with obsessive compulsive disorder. My reasoning is that the ridged training schedule and constant monitoring of weight coupled with the general anxiety associated with being an athlete, feeds right into OCD.
I was talking with several of my wrestling buddies and without knowing it, we all had similar, if not, the same routines, habits and odd behaviors. Let’s see how many of you have done these things or something similar.
Have you ever been at a friend’s house and opened the refrigerator? Not because you were hungry or thirsty, but just as a conditioned action from years of weight management. Conditioned by the years you just opened your own fridge to look at the ice cold Gatorade that you couldn’t drink until after weigh-ins. I have seen wrestlers that would wear their headgear all day at a tournament without ever taking it off. I have observed guys that wouldn’t step on the crease in between the 3 sections of mat, even someone that made a cheat sheet with everyone in his weight class and the scores of their matches with common opponents. That was he knew how much he such win by.
I learned the hard way about coming up from behind and touching Adam Frey on his shoulders before a match. I had my own quirks; I always ate a half turkey sub from Tony’s pizza after weigh-ins. I had a pair of argyle socks I stole from my dad’s dresser that I wore for every match and a pair of Red Ohio State Wrestling shorts that I had won for taking down Kevin Randleman while his hands were tied behind his back at wrestling camp up at St Lawrence University. I loved to listen to long progressive rock songs while I warmed up, you know the epic 12 minute tracks with long guitar and drum solo’s. That allowed me get outside of my thoughts and just focus on stretching and breathing instead of nervous thoughts.
By the time I was in college I eased up on a lot of my other eccentric behaviors partly cause of maturity and partly cause I had to much else to think about that I couldn’t remember who I sat next to on the bench the last match. But it got me thinking how many other wrestlers had routines and how important are those routines to there mental preparation. I decided to ask some of the top wrestlers about there routines and get a little insight into their pre-match preparation.
What do you listen to warming up?
- Kyle Dake/Cornell – I don’t listen to music,
- Jordan Burroughs/Nebraska- It depends on whether I am sitting on the bench or actually warming up. When I am jogging and breaking a sweat I like to listen to up-tempo music like rap and rock. But when I’m sitting on the bench I listen to slow jams to keep my heart rate down and keep me relaxed.
- Helen Maroulis Ranked Freestyle – I like a lot of rap and upbeat music. Remixes and such.
- Rob Morrison/Rider- Hells Bells by ACDC- kept the same from high school!
- Josh Dziewa/Iowa- I don’t listen to music while warming up. Over time I’ve come to realize that I like to think about my up-coming match more so then music.
- Matt Valenti U Penn Ranked Freestyle- I don’t listen to music when I warm up… It’s never really been my thing.
- Ryan Mango/Stanford – This varies pretty much on a match to match basis so it’s hard to be specific, but some common artists are Lil Wayne and Wiz Kahlifa.
- Scott Giffin/U Penn- I don’t listen to music when I warm up. My midget coach never let us listen to music and said it was a distraction.
- Wynn Michalak Cent Michigan/ranked Freestyle- In my warm up I usually listen to a variety of things but I always make sure to listen to “the realest sport” by tp & esco and “we ready” by archie eversole.
- Matt Cathell Kent State- I don’t listen to music warming up, but i have to while cutting weight and I usually listen to classic rock and rap.
- Jordan Beverly/Rutgers- Rap and house…anything with a good beat…mostly biggie and tiesto.
- Destin McCauley/ Apple Valley- When I warm up I listen to mainly rap music, but there will be the occasional rock song.
- David Zabriskie Iowa St/Ranked Freestyle - I actually don’t listen to music while warming up, but during practice I like anything that has a good beat to it.
What is your usual post weigh-in meal & drink?
- Dake – Blueberry bagel with cream cheese, banana and granola bar for a drink I’d have to go with a Gatorade.
- Burroughs - Usually have a granola bar, banana, two Gatorade’s, apple sauce, and a Gogurt, I like to be a little hungry when I step out on the mat.
- Maroulis - I have a re-hydration plan, pedialyte is amazing after weigh ins, post weigh-in meal is normally something with lots of carbs.
- Morrison - Within an hour from weighing in I’ll be only around 5+ over so nothing fancy.
- Dziewa – Peanut butter & jelly on a bagel, either pedialyte or Gatorade 16-20 oz.
- Valenti - My post weigh-in meal is pretty simple. Water, a little Gatorade, a light jelly sandwich and some fruit.
- Mango – Post weigh in I usually have a bagel with peanut butter/cream cheese, yogurt, and some sort of Gatorade/water mix.
- Giffin - Turkey Sandwich.
- Michalak- After weigh-ins Carbs keep it light.
- Cathell - I usually gain 7-8 pounds after weigh-ins. I always drink strawberry milk and lemon lime Gatorade with chicken noodle soup, chocolate chip muffin, and oats and peanut butter granola bars.
- Beverly - Bagel, pedialite, and hulk juice Gatorade (blue and yellow mixed).
- McCauley – After weigh in I always have a Gatorade and chocolate milk to drink. To eat I have pb and honey sandwiches and subway.
- Zabriskie – Usually a trip to Olive Garden now that I weigh-in the day before, but in college usually a Gatorade and half a sandwich.
What is your usual post match meal?
- Dake – See above
- Burroughs – It depends what my teammates are doing; we usually like to eat together. I usually like to have something filling like a steak and some potatoes, with a big vanilla milkshake.
- Maroulis - Post match meal is some type of energy bar.
- Morrison – Anything not picky.
- Dziewa - Probably different every time.
- Valenti - Nothing specific
- Mango - Well, in an effort to keep my weight under control I usually just go back to my dorm and cook something for myself so I know it is healthy, but still satisfies my hunger. When on the road whatever the team wants is what I go with.
- Giffin - After matches I usually like to get dinner with my parents if they attend or if not I’ll get a wawa hoagie.
- Michalak – I enjoy going to Olive Garden and getting chicken fettuccini alfredo and obviously the endless breadsticks. Another necessity is a glass of coke with lots of water.
- Cathell – Nothing specific always changes.
- Beverly – Something with some protein to recover like a steak or some chicken.
- McCauley - Post match meal I always like to go get some cookie dough ice cream.
- Zabriskie – Post match I like to go out to eat, so usually a nice steak or some BBQ.
Do you have any lucky clothing you wear in your warm up or during matches?
- Dake - Yep, black socks, red Cornell shorts, black Cornell long sleeve shirt, gray Cornell sweatshirt, red team warm-up top, and a white knee pad.
- Burroughs - I wear the same pair of underwear underneath my singlet every match.
- Maroulis – Sometimes I wear mismatched socks for good luck
- Morrison - no lucky clothing.
- Dziewa – Nope.
- Valenti - I don’t have any superstitions or pre-match rituals. I’ve always been of the opinion that those types of things are a chink in the armor.
- Mango - Though I don’t wear anything specific, I feel lucky any time I wear Stanford Gear. It’s a privilege to be part of and representing such a great community of people.
- Giffin - I usually wear the same Penn issued underwear, shorts, 2 t-shirts, and hoodie.
- Michalak – I don’t have any specific things I wear for warm up or matches anymore. I generally warm up with. Sweatshirts on and just make sure I am comfortable throughout the day.
- Cathell - Yes, I have a pair of socks one gray, and one black that I try to always wear them ever since I won states in them.
- Beverly - Not much on clothing but I’ve had a can opener in my bag since 5th grade that my dad gave me to “open a can of whoop ass” haha.
- McCauley - No I don’t have any lucky clothing or anything, but I make sure whatever I’m about to wear has to be one of my favorite clothing for wrestling.
- Zabriskie - No. I don’t have any lucky socks or anything like that.
Do you have a special pre-match ritual?
- Dake - Slap my arms and legs to get pumped up and chest slap from Jeremy Spates 2 minutes before my match.
- Burroughs - I always shower right before I put my uniform on, even if I just shower before we left the hotel I have to shower before every match.
- Maroulis - I just remind myself to have fun.
- Morrison – Before every match i do 30 down in 5 increments of sprawls, squats, and push-ups.
- Dziewa – I like to take my shoes off in between matches, I don’t think that’s a ritual, but that’s about all I can think of. But i think it’s almost become habit because I’ve been doing it for years. Its almost as soon as I step off the mat I take them off.. And I don’t put them back on until I’m ready to warm up.
- Valenti - No habits. They’re mental weaknesses.
- Mango – I usually just listen to my Ipod and get some last minute words from Coach Borrelli.
- Giffin - As soon as I put on my singlet I pull up my straps. I will always start jogging 3 matches before my own and will drink water the entire time. At a match and 1/2 before mine, usually in the second period of the 157lb match I will run exactly 10 sprints. Then as our 165lber walks out on the mat I will watch his match. With about 20 seconds left in his match I undress. Before I step on the mat I take one more sip of water and put on my head gear.
- Michalak - I try to warm up the same every match. Drill, sprints, recovery. Pretty simple.
- Cathell - Not really.
- Beverly – I primarily warm up the same way every time. Jog, sprints, stretch out, stance and motion, and knee up jumps to get a sweat going.
- McCauley – I would have to say any rituals pre-match would just be when I start warming up and that I always have to re-run to warm back up.
- Zabriskie – I don’t think I have a “ritual”, but I do have a warm-up routine that I like to stick to. My routine takes about 10-15 minutes and I’ve done it enough that after I’m done with it I know I’m ready to wrestle.
Do you prefer getting psyched up or calm down before you wrestle?
- Dake – Both… I calm down like 40 minutes before and with like 15 minutes before my match I get psyched up (usually pacing).
- Burroughs - I like to stay calm; as long as my body is warm I will be ready to go. The higher my heart rate is the harder it is for me to focus, so I like to stay calm so I can be sharp.
- Maroulis – I definitely like to be relaxed before a match, i get too anxious to wrestle otherwise.
- Morrison – I prefer calming down before by talking and making jokes with one of my coaches.
- Dziewa - Psyched up. Getting smacked a little bit, getting into an attacking state of mind.
- Valenti - I prefer to be relaxed before I wrestle. I can get fired up in matches but I like to just preserve my energy and mentally focus on the task at hand.
- Mango – I would say its a mix of emotion. I am definitely excited to compete which may cause me to appear to have a “psyched up” demeanor, however I am still relatively calm and having fun.
- Giffin - I like being calm when I walk out on the mat. If I get too excited before I get nervous.
- Michalak – I feel like I prefer a happy medium of being pumped up ready to kill and staying calm. I try to get my body worked up in my warm up but us music and some meditation to keep my mind calm as matches approach.
- Cathell - I like to be calm and relax before I wrestle.
- Beverly- I like getting psyched up before I wrestle. I like to have a lot of energy on the mat.
- McCauley - I do kind of both. I like to get really psyched a couple matches before my match, then a match before I start to calm down so i can be relaxed when I wrestle.
- Zabriskie - Wrestling matches are always exciting especially when wrestling in Hilton Coliseum where crowds can exceed 15,000. I try to stay as calm as possible throughout the match until I’m about to start my warm-up. Then I let myself get psyched.
Are you a creature of habit and routine or does that not matter? (Sit in same seat on bus, watch same movie anything like that)
- Dake - Creature of habit… I do the same thing pretty much every time, and will only work out with one person during a tournament.
- Burroughs - I like to do things the same way each and every match. I eat the same meal, shower, put my uniform on the same way, warm-up the same, get off the bench at the same weight class every dual.
- Maroulis – Hmm, it depends I have cycles of repetition but mostly I just go with the flow.
- Morrison – Not too much. I always sit on the right side of the bus and always have a full workout a couple hours prior.
- Dziewa - Not in those examples. But I like to have the same routine in my warm up, cool down, packing my bag, stuff like that.
- Valenti – No habits. They’re mental weaknesses.
- Mango – I definitely am not a creature of habit. I just let things flow and react appropriately.
- Giffin – The only real habits I had are my post weigh-in meal, where I always eat a turkey sandwich, the clothes I wear to warm up, and my warm up itself.
- Michalak – Habits and rituals have become less important to me as I age, but I still like to have a routine at tournaments. My warm up and timing.
- Cathell - I always sit on the same bus seat but other than that it doesn’t really matter.
- Beverly - Defiantly a creature of habit. I sat in the same seat on the bus in high school since a freshman. Lucky seat number. I try to mirror what I did on my good days because I figure there has to be a reason why they were good days.
- McCauley – In a way I have the same routine, I always got warm up to music drill with the same person and stretch the same way. I have a specific play list I always listen to.
- Zabriskie - No real habits. Just my warm-up routine. That’s about it.
What do you like to listen to while working out?
- Dake - Pandora… Whatever the seniors want.
- Burroughs - I like to listen to mostly rap music.
- Maroulis – Whatever plays at practices, my teammates make some pretty sick mixes.
- Morrison – Rock and roll, metal, and classic rock….. Not too creative on that one.
- Dziewa – Creed, Linkin Park, Eminem.
- Valenti – I’m not picky about workout music. Our guys play some weird stuff but I’m usually too focused to even hear it.
- Mango – While working out I generally don’t listen to music in order to simulate competition. Just as there are distractions while you compete there should be the same when you work out.
- Giffin – I like listening to just about everything when I work out except for heavy metal. I especially enjoy songs that I know the words to so I can sing along.
- Michalak – When I am working I just like to have background music, anything with faster pace to keep my energy up.
- Cathell – When working out I like to listen to fast beat music, some new pop music.
- Beverly – I like to listen to anything with a good beat to get me moving. Again house music and rap are favorites.
- McCauley – I can really listen to anything when I work out, anything but country ha!
- Zabriskie -I like anything that has a good beat to it. Techno is always good or something fast pace gets my body going.
Do you get nervous before every match?
- Dake – Mostly excited, not too nervous.
- Burroughs – Sometimes, depends on what is at stake. But I am so confident in my abilities that I know if I wrestle like I do on a daily basis I will be extremely hard to beat. If I’m nervous, than my opponent is pooping his pants.
- Maroulis – Yes
- Morrison – Always get nervous/excited, even up to my last match.
- Dziewa – Maybe little butterflies. More nerves of myself to perform rather then nervous of my opponent.
- Valenti - I get nervous the night before any competition but I’ve learned to shake the butterflies before match.
- Mango – This is actually a pretty comical question for me. All the way until my sophomore year of high school I used to throw up before 90% of my matches as a result of nerves. It’s funny because now I never get nervous no matter what. I guess it was just a hurdle that I overcame at some point.
- Giffin - Yes I absolutely get nervous before every match. The unknown of what could happen is running through my head. As soon as I shake hands the nervousness subsides until I score the first takedown and then the nervousness is gone.
- Michalak – I do get very nervous before matched but I think that without some nerves I’m not prepared to wrestling a tough match every time.
- Cathell – I always get nervous before every match and that nervous energy usually helps me get through the first period.
- Beverly – I have some nerves before every match but their more butterfly kind of nerves…anxious to wrestle and compete.
- McCauley – No, I tend not to get nervous before a match, but I can always feel a little bit there.
- Zabriskie - Yeah, I think everyone does on one scale or another. But I know I’m always prepared. So the moment the referee blows the whistle it goes away and everything else becomes instinct from hours upon hours of practice.
Do you follow rankings and results during the season? Or maybe the opposite you completely stay away from the press clippings?
- Dake - I follow some results just to see how things are shaking out during season. I enjoy looking at what people have to say about me just for fun.
- Burroughs – I always like to look at the rankings and forums. They motivate me. For every fan there are 5 critics, so for those who continued to doubt me throughout the year despite all I’ve done in the past, thanks for the motivation.
- Maroulis – I don’t follow anything, if something comes up in conversation I’ll check it out.
- Morrison – Completely stay away from it. i even yell at my roommates for watching wrestling close to me.
- Dziewa -Eh, both I guess. The forums and rankings aren’t the first things I look at on the internet, but I don’t purposely avoid them. If I see wrestling in the paper, I’ll read it.’
- Valenti - I do follow rankings and results. I’m not exactly everyone’s favorite wrestler so I don’t get much respect nationally prior to competitions. I never have and I don’t expect I ever will. So in rankings, results, predictions, previews, etc I’m an afterthought (it happened in 2006 and 2007) — that all adds fuel to my fire.
- Mango – I follow the media a little during the season. It’s a nice break from schoolwork sometimes to read about/see results from something that you give so much of your own time to.
- Giffin – I follow results but not for every weight class. Upsets and good competition are exciting. I try to stay away from rankings because they truly don’t mean anything come the NCAA tournament.
- Michalak – I pay attention to tournament results a little bit but rankings mean nothing to me because they r just someone else’s opinion of who should win and in this sport u have to wrestle every match. there r no guarantees ever.
- Cathell - I don’t follow them but every once in a while ill check them out.
- Beverly – I have always looked at statistics my whole life so I’m never surprised at what I’m getting, but I’m trying to stay away from it as I get older because everyone is good in college. You just gotta wrestle your best and be prepared.
- McCauley – I like to follow rankings and results you know just to see how everyone else in the wrestling world is doing.
- Zabriskie – I’ll take a peak at the rankings just to see what is going on. I stay away from the message boards. They usually don’t have anything positive to say anyway.
Is there anything special or specific about your in season routine you want to share?
- Dake - Not really.
- Burroughs - I just love the sport of wrestling; I love the intensity and the grind and the thrill of victory. I like to keep things light to though and have fun, wrestling is a fun sport as well, and once you begin to have fun everything else is easy.
- Maroulis – I like to believe I’m special in my own way ha ha but no, no specific routine exercises.
- Morrison - I never liked wrestling fully fresh. I always liked to be 1 or 2 workouts before. it was a way to calm the nerves.
- Dziewa – I don’t look at the brackets during competition. I prepare better thinking I have the toughest kid every match and I don’t worry about certain kids doing certain things. I worry about me and me only, which is where I’m comfortable.
- Valenti - There’s not anything too special about my in season routines.
- Mango – Not really. I guess I just want to thank my coaches, parents, and supporters for everything!
- Giffin – I always found that it wasn’t the work that I put in the room during scheduled practice that made me the best but it was the extra workouts on my own that gave me the most confidence.
- Michalak – No not really I keep it simple.
- Cathell – Not really pretty laid back.
- Beverly – One thing I think a lot of people notice is the jump i do before I wrestle. I’ve done it since my first match; I guess to just make sure my body is up for the match. I hear i get a lot of height on it.
- McCauley – The one thing I like to make sure during my season is to keep my speed up at all times and that i make all my shots perfect so in a match it will come natural.
- Zabriskie – Wrestling seasons are always long, and I know that even if you are the best you are still going to have “off days” where you just aren’t feeling 100%. Those are days you have to work your hardest. The most important thing is to not let those days get you down. Train through them, but don’t let an “off day” dictate how you perform the following day or the rest or that week.
Trick or Treat
Smell my Feet
Give me something Good to Eat !!!
It has been an uneventful couple of days. I am furiously trying to read through “What is Gnosticism” for class, I think I am sixty pages in of a 245 page read. God give me strength. There is rain in the forecast for tomorrow. Hopefully the kiddies won’t get wet. It will be nippy out, but no snow (yet).
Ghost to Ghost is on Saturday night with Ian Punnett on Coast to Coast. It will be an exciting show, as this is the first time that Ian has the show. There will be tricks and treats …
So I won these the other day, and today I paid for them. Woo Hoo !!!
Dinner is cooking, got to go…
More to come, stay tuned …
The week comes to an end. My textbooks came today for my Gnosticism class. We are reading: Ancient Gnosticism Traditions and Literature by Birger A. Pearson and The Nag Hammadi Library by James M. Robinson. I have my work cut out for me over the weekend.
I had ordered some new gym duds this past week and they came yesterday and today I got a visit in to the gym. This is a great singlet, very comfy and beautifully screened. Canada across the front and the Canadian Parliament Coat of Arms on the left thigh. The back of the singlet is screened with other images. It’s really beautiful. I have this patch sewn on my backpack as well. I bought it at Parliament Hill when I visited Ottawa some years ago.
The gym wasn’t as packed as it was yesterday. I did get there a little later than I usually do. I saw the group of summer boys today which was fun. The gym seems busy because there was, once again, a line out the door for term memberships. I think that exercise science students have to work at the gym, because I saw a bunch of orange shirts standing around the kiosk downstairs. All the staff wears these very stylish orange leopard spotted shirts. There were five or six of them on staff this afternoon.
I had lunch with a friend today, which was really nice. They did some work on the diner – new tiling and paint on the walls. It looked really good. On the way to the diner at lunch my watch fell off my arm, and I almost lost it because at first I didn’t feel it fall. Well down the street I had to backtrack a bit to find where it fell off and pick it up. The watchband has seen better days, I have had it forever. After lunch I went to look for a new band and found one that I liked down at Zeller’s. That was a $16.00 expense. I was thinking about just buying a whole new watch, but I nixed that idea.
So that’s what I did today.
More to come, stay tuned …
It has been a quiet day today. We had things to do today so we got up early this morning. Hubby headed to an appointment and I headed for the Gym early this afternoon. I got 2 miles in on the treadmill – it takes me 46 minutes to walk two miles at a 3.1 speed, I usually run my treadmill at the BPM with the music I am listening to on my MP3 – I got a full weight workout and my floor exercises in with a 2 hour workout window.
The Gym was empty today only a handful of people were there. I did notice some of the same faces I had seen earlier in the week. The cute boy factor was sitting around a 5 for the day.
Now I think I may take a power nap before dinner.
more to come, stay tuned…
It has been a very quiet day. Hubby is at an event all day today so I had the bed and the house all to myself. I slept until around noon when I got up and started my day. I farted around with my read list and caught up on my mail.
Then it was time to start getting ready for the Gym. Since I was home alone, I showered and set out for the Metro Station to my favorite little pizza joint in the metro on the Mezzanine level where the Gym is located mext door in the EV building. You can’t work out on an empty stomach.
I got to wear my new duds at the gym today. I look Sweet!!! I love the new Adidas Response black/black shoes, they are really tight. The Brute Maverick singlets are really comfortable too. I’m such a tease. Alas, the cute boys that were at the gym this week, were regretfully absent today… awww shucks…
The Gym was very quiet today. Not a whole lot of people, there were a handful of people on the tread side and a handful of people on the weight side. So I spent the first 45 minutes on the treadmill with a brisk 2 mile walk. I loaded my MP3 player with a bunch of new music so that was good.
I did some floor exercise and crunched for a bit then headed over the the weights for some arms and chest again. I’ve been a little sore the past few days so I took it easy today and dropped a little weight on the bar bells.
So now I am home and I am gonna take a power nap and chill out.
I have a post on John the Baptizer floating in my head, so that will go up later today or tonight.
more to come, stay tuned…
It rained today. On the way to the Gym, I got splash/soaked by a fast moving rain storm. The sky was dark and daunting. Thank God I only had to walk a few blocks to the EV building. The Gym was quite festive today.
Lots of people doing lots of things. It was quite frenetic, I must say. I got some time in on the cycle (2 miles) and (2 miles) on the treadmill. I always start with those two machines then I do my stretching and crunches on a floor mat. There were a lot of people on the floor today.
The weight room – on the opposite side of the Gym was busy, but people are very cordial when you rotate from one set of weights to the next. My body is starting to hurt which means I must be doing something right. I worked on my arms and chest today, I am hoping that I loose my baby bump sooner than later. I guess I have to crunch it away.
Hopefully my workout package will come in tomorrows mail. That will be exciting. This is what I bought from my favorite wrestling sales point.
Sports are Cool Wrestling in Slippery Rock, PA.
That was my day, in a nutshell. Tomorrow is Friday and another workout.
Stay tuned, More to come…
It was a successful day today. Last night I spent some time reading “In the Country of Men” I am about 3/4 of the way through it and I Will have something to say about it when I am finished with the read.The story is very serious and since I am versed in the religious customs of Islam I can see the problems that are arising in the story. I am enjoying the read so far.
I got some sleep and this morning got up bright and early to get to school to figure out my financial aide situation, which seems to have been fixed this hour. The school just had to make a simple adjustment to my file.
Then it was off to the gym, since I was in the neighborhood. I didn’t feel like making two trip into the core today, so I went earlier than I did yesterday. The gym was pleasantly comfortable. There weren’t alot of people at the 11 o’ clock hour – rather than the 5 to 6 hour I went yesterday.
I got 2 miles on the treadmill and 2 miles on the life cycle and several sets of arm and chest work in on the weight side and my body is feeling the burn today. I noticed that I was a little sore from riding yesterday. I am liking the new routine of having somewhere to go every day for a couple of hours.
I am sure that I will hit my target weight loss if I keep this pattern up for the next month. My doc will be very pleased with my progress. Well that’s about that for the moment…
More to come, stay tuned…
The weekend was uneventful. Although we did go to see “G Force” the Guinea pig movie on Saturday night. It was good. The special effects in the 3 D were fun as well. The most fun we had was the previews – because they were all in 3D as well. The trailer for Alice in Wonderland with Johnny Depp looks really fun.
It was a rather miserable weekend – heatwise. It has been hot and muggy for days and days. It rains mostly at night, and by chance we get a breeze which makes sleeping bearable. We have been reminded by friends in other provinces that we should not grumble about the heat because in a few weeks the weather will start going south and we will complain that it is getting too cold out…
Today the building administrator came by and woke me up at 8:30 in the morning, and I answered the door in my undies and bed head hair. I was not prepared for visitors so early in the day and hubby was still sleeping. She came to see the HUGE hole in our bathroom ceiling – but I told her that she would have to come back at a more amenable time for both of us.
I don’t do mornings…
Last night I worked on my Pastoral Ministry paper for my final grade to attain my Certificate in Pastoral Ministry. I worked all night on it. I had prepared an entire outline for the paper, but in the end I decided that I would deviate from that original plan in opt for a paper of story telling. Everything I know came from real life experiences tested in the real world with real life and death situations.
I am hedging my bets that what I wrote will be sufficient to garner me a passing grade on a 28 page paper. I worked until 4:30 this morning writing the final 7 pages of free flow thought to tie all my stories together and explain what my concept of Pastoral Ministry – working in Task Groups means to me.
This afternoon – I emailed a copy of the paper to my Certificate adviser in France and I also air mailed a hard copy to her as well, that should take two weeks to get there.
Then I had assorted other errands to run. I FINALLY got my ass up and joined the Gym at the University. It is quite the space let me tell you. They gave me a sweet deal for the month of August only $16.00 for the month. At the beginning of the next semester the rate will go up to $60.00 for Sept thru Dec.
My package from Philly will get here this week and Iwill have new singlets to wear to the gym and a new pair of shoes to go with them. Now I can start working on my body since I am dropping weight, I need to pull in the tummy and tighten the side carriage. I am on target to loose another 10 pounds by my next doctors visit the end of September.
I have been on my Diabetes diet for more than five months now and it seems to be working. I am off the sweets and sodas and juices. I can’t have them any ways, and now I don’t miss them. I drink a good amount of water every day and I stick to portioned meals and lots of fresh fruit daily.
My hair dryer died somewhere under the sink and I had to buy another one.It took me three attempts to find a hair dryer that I liked that was not so expensive. Do you know how expensive hair dryers are??? I went to three stores and ended up on the metro to Atwater to the TIRE to find one that I liked that ran under $20.00. What a deal, all the other ones ranged from $30 to $50.00 … UGH !!!
I went by Jean Coutu for some sundry supplies and to look for a lock for my locker at the gym. I can’t remember that last time I used a locker anywhere, it had to be ages ago. But this is a new school year and I made some promises to myself about self care and working out and I am sticking to the plan. I’ve got this one body, so I better take better care of it. The better my body the better my diabetes will be under control.
So that was my day. Time for a mid day siesta…
More to come, stay tuned…
Photos Courtesy of: Buckeye Wrestling Online Photo Album.
184: Jake Herbert (Northwestern) WBD Mike Pucillo (Ohio State) 6-3 2009 NCAA Tournament: 184 lbs. Championship Finals
Host: Missouri; Scottrade Center St. Louis, Missouri; March 21, 2009 Photographer(s) Kevin Schlosser & Bob Tuneberg:
Nothing gives me more joy than to find a real deal on Ebay. This shoe retails for more than $75.00 US – And I got a pair for $31.00 plus a nominal shipping fee, much less than had I paid retail for them. YAY !!!
It was a hit and miss day on Tuesday. I woke up late, but I had an agenda for the day. I had to return some phone calls from some of my fellow ministry students – the Monsignor seems to be MIA … I called his office and spoke to his secretary who told me to email her my final paper at 40 pages and that she would print it out for him. So that’s what I did. Now I am waiting on the Monsignor to contact me to do my final oral interview.
I totally missed class and it wasn’t until about 4 o’clock that it dawned on me what day it was. I was that out of it. It’s all good. I have those days every once in a while. Since my leaving the meeting I have been getting used to the dynamic shift in my life.
We went out for dinner tonight which was a nice treat. We went to McDonald’s and we stuffed ourselves sick. At least hubby was sick after the belt feeding he did… ugh !!!!
I have to finish writing 2 more papers one for AHSC and one for NT studies.
Stay tuned, more to come later…
From: Wrestling Insider News Magazine – via email group.
After turning in a near-perfect season of wrestling, Jake Herbert of Northwestern has been named the winner of the 2009 Dan Hodge Trophy. The trophy is co-sponsored by WIN Magazine and the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum, in Waterloo, Iowa.
On March 21 in St. Louis, Mo., Herbert defeated the defending NCAA champion, Mike Pucillo of Ohio State, to claim his second title at 184 pounds. Herbert finished the season 34-0 and did not surrender a takedown all year. Along the way, he scored 15 pins, four technical falls and nine major decisions.
Herbert is the 15th winner of the trophy, dating back to 1995. It is presented each year to the college wrestler who best represents the dominating style of Dan Hodge, who was an undefeated, three-time NCAA champion for the University of Oklahoma in the 1950s. Hodge is considered one of the three or four greatest pinners of all time, pinning 36 of 46 foes during his career, and 15 of 16 his final season, 1957.
“We have several criteria, including winning the national title and domination on the mat,” said Mike Chapman, creator of the award. “The Dan Hodge trophy was designed to be wrestling’s counterpart of the Heisman Trophy in football, and to reward wrestlers who go all out to dominate the opponent, either by pin or tech falls and major decisions. Jake is a great example of that philosophy.”
“Two things really impress me about Jake. First, he really goes out every match to put a lot of points on the scoreboard or get a pin. That’s what most fans want to see,” said WIN publisher Bryan Van Kley. “And when you take into consideration that he’s doing that at 184, that’s impressive. He’s a very worthy recipient of the award.”
A native of Wexford, Pa., Herbert was a four-time All-American as a Wildcat. He finished third in the NCAA in 2005 and was second the next year with a mark of 33-1. He was 32-0 as a junior, winning the NCAA title at 184. He then took an Olympic redshirt year to try out for the 2008 Olympic Team.
As a Wildcat, Herbert was an amazing 149-4, winning his last 66 matches in a row. His winning percentage of .973 is the highest in Northwestern history. He is second on the all-time Northwestern wins list behind Jack Griffin, who was 156-21-1 (percentage of .879).
“Jake has been the face of Northwestern wrestling for the last five years,” said Tim Cysewski, Northwestern coach. “He heads the list of guys that have made a mark on our program.
“Jack Riley was a two-time NCAA champion back in the 1930s and won a silver medal in the 1932 Olympics. We’ll have to wait and see on the Olympics, but I think Jake’s better than Riley was.”
Herbert was vacationing in California when informed of his selection as the Hodge winner for 2009.
“It makes me so happy to win this great award,” he said. “It’s a great way to cap off the season, and my career.”
Winning the Hodge Trophy was a goal he set for himself prior to his senior year. He approached Brent Metcalf, last year’s winner, and told him he wanted the Hodge Trophy this season. Herbert said that Metcalf told him to go for it.
Watching Metcalf lose in the 149-pound finals, Herbert knew he had to keep his focus for his finals match with Pucillo.
“I couldn’t believe Brent was losing,” he said. “I knew it was probably down to him and me for the Hodge.”
But Herbert didn’t feel any extra pressure himself at that point, he said.
“I felt like Mike (Pucillo) had more pressure on him, being the defending champion and his team still having a chance for the team title,” Herbert said. “I just had to focus and wrestle the best that I could.”
Cysewski, who was a Big Ten champ and All-American at Iowa, feels winning the Hodge Trophy will be a big plus for the Wildcat program.
“In the past, before the Hodge Trophy, wrestlers were focused on winning the Midlands, their conference and the NCAA,” he said. “Now, the Hodge Trophy is added to that list. It’s become a big deal, for sure.
“Jake winning the Hodge provides another sense that we’re doing the right things here at Northwestern. It’s important, and Jake knows
Let’s begin with a little inspiration. Jake Herbert from Northwestern University in Top Form at the NCAA Championships. Here are a few more from Tech.Fall.com…
YEAH !!! BABY !!!
|Northwestern University Sports Information
|ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Just as he did in March of 2007, Northwestern senior Jake Herbert completed an undefeated season with a 184-pound national title at the NCAA Championships Saturday in St. Louis. NU’s four-time All-American held off last year’s NCAA champ, Mike Pucillo of Ohio State, by a 6-3 decision to become just the second two-time national title-winner in school history and the first since 1932.
“They say college is the best four to six years of your life and I think I’m proof of that,” said Herbert, who has already earned his degree after taking a redshirt year in 2007-08 to train for the Olympics in Beijing. “College wrestling is an awesome lifestyle. I just have to thank (head coach) Tim Cysewski because I wouldn’t have done any of this without him. I wouldn’t have wanted to wrestle for anybody else and it’s a special kind of guy that can handle me for six years.”
With Herbert’s win, Northwestern separated itself as the only wrestling program in the country to have had an individual national champion in each of the past three seasons. Herbert, who ends his college career on a 66-match winning streak, won his first title in 2007 while Dustin Fox brought home the heavyweight title in March of last year.
“We knew Jake was going to be special when we recruited him and every year Jake has just continued to up the ante for us as coaches,” Cysewski said.
As a team, the ‘Cats came in 13th for the second straight season (46.0 points) to record their fifth consecutive top-15 national finish. Iowa repeated as the team champions with 96.5 points.
Herbert (34-0), the 2009 Big Ten Wrestler of the Year, used the NCAA Championships to put the finishing touches on a four-year varsity career in which he posted a 138-4 record, good for the fifth-best winning percentage (.972) among all Division I wrestlers since the 1974-75 season.
Saturday’s title bout marked the first time Herbert squared off against Pucillo, who moved up a weight class to 197 in NU’s regular season dual match versus the Buckeyes and who lost in the Big Ten Championships before he could meet Herbert.
Nevertheless, Herbert dismissed the possibility of there being any feeling-out period by diving at and grabbing a hold of Pucillo’s right leg just nine seconds into the match. After one restart, Herbert tilted the Buckeye and was on the verge of collecting back points when Pucillo managed to roll off onto his stomach.
Following an escape by Pucillo, Herbert distanced himself with a second takedown but Pucillo continued to hold strong, pulling to within 4-3 in the second on another escape. With Herbert leading 5-3 in the third, Pucillo got a great hold of Herbert’s left leg with 30 seconds remaining but was unable to finish the move as Herbert completed his season without surrendering a takedown. His 1:53 of riding time brought his final winning margin at Northwestern to 6-3, setting off a celebration among NU’s coaches and contingent of fans in the stands at the Scottrade Center.
“I thought it went well,” Herbert said of the much-anticipated matchup against Pucillo. “I did what I needed to do but he made me work for it. He wasn’t going to hand it to me and he wasn’t going to roll over. I didn’t give up a takedown which was good but I think Mike’s a great wrestler and I can see him winning another national title.”
Herbert concludes his career as one of the most decorated Wildcat wrestlers in NU history. He is the program’s only four-time All-American, three-time Big Ten champion and three-time Midlands titlist and ranks second all-time in wins with 149 (including his redshirt season).
It was a quiet weekend. Not much going on here. The weather has been just dandy although a little on the cold side. We are in the final push for the end of the semester now – and we are all working on papers now.
I don’t have much to say at the moment. I just thought I should put something up here because it has been days since my last post. I will try to get over to the Cathedral for service tomorrow. I am not sure that Joyce is back from New York. So we shall see.
Stay tuned for more later.
Congratulations Jake for a job well done.
By Stan Grossfeld – Boston Globe Online
EDINBORO, Pa. – Wrestling had been Paul Donahoe’s life since he was 6 years old and pinned his first opponent in a mere six seconds. In high school, he was chosen Mr. Wrestler for the state of Michigan in 2004. In college, he was a two-time All-American and a national champion at the University of Nebraska.
And then, in less time than it took him to pin an opponent, his life was tangled up in blue.
Donahoe and teammate Kenny Jordan were dismissed from the Nebraska wrestling team last Aug. 12 after a campus blog posted pictures of them taken from a website that features photos and videos of naked male athletes for a gay audience. Nebraska, citing NCAA rules that prohibit the use of an athlete’s image for commercial gain, also accused Donahoe of additional violations.
Donahoe was shattered.
“It was very stressful,” he says. “It was two weeks before school started.”
But with the help of his Michigan high school coach, Donahoe transferred to Edinboro University and was reinstated by the NCAA after sitting out a semester.
This season, the 5-foot 5-inch senior is unbeaten (32-0) and ranked No. 1 in the nation in the 125-pound class. But he has been stung by negative publicity and what he perceives as a double standard in sports.
“I didn’t do anything illegal,” he says. “I didn’t hurt anyone. I don’t think I did anything wrong. Who should I apologize to?”
At Saturday’s NCAA wrestling championships in St. Louis, Donahoe plans on being a national champion again, just as he was in 2007. There’s a fire in his belly.
“Being dismissed motivated me a little bit,” he says. “I’m a competitive person. But, realistically, 32-0 doesn’t matter. The regular season is just preparation for the NCAA.”
Bruce Baumgartner, the Edinboro University athletic director, is a four-time Olympic medalist in wrestling. He was chosen to carry the US flag in the 1996 opening ceremonies in Atlanta. He saw a trembling Muhammad Ali light the Olympic torch decades after refusing to fight in Vietnam. He believes in redemption and took a chance on Donahoe.
“We’ve all made mistakes,” says Baumgartner. “Not that I condone what he did, but there are players all across the country on college teams that actually have broken the law or harmed people that are still competing.”
“We decided we would give him an opportunity to get an education at Edinboro University while competing, hopefully, for another national championship. To me the graduation is more important than the title.”
Publicity and ridicule
Edinboro is in northwestern Pennsylvania, nestled in a triangle roughly 110 miles from Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Buffalo. For Donahoe, it might as well be heaven.”They obviously gave me a second chance to wrestle again,” he says. “I’m thankful for that. It’s everything to me. I think the new coaches and new workout partners really helped me.”
At a news conference at Edinboro when he arrived on campus, Donahoe’s eyes filled with tears when he was asked about the scrutiny following him to his new school. He also lost 24 credits in the transfer and won’t graduate until July.
“I am straight, but on the forums people make a lot of gay jokes about me,” he says. “I’m not too concerned. They can talk about me all they want, it doesn’t matter. If a guy wants to be with a guy, who cares?”
He’s telling his story now because he believes college wrestling needs more exposure, no pun intended. Some programs have been eliminated, while others are threatened by budget cuts.
“I want people to watch the sport,” he says. “It’s not like other sports. It’s not something that you go out and do for fun, because if you go out there and someone’s tougher than you, you’re going to take some whipping. But once you become a wrestling fan, I’m pretty sure you’ll always be a wrestling fan.”
Tim Flynn, the Edinboro wrestling coach, took some advice from Donahoe’s Davison (Mich.) High School coach, Roy Hall.
“He said he’s a great kid, but he doesn’t always make the right choices,” says Flynn. “He needs guidance, which they all do, but he’s going to be the hardest-working kid in the room, which he is.”
Donahoe’s friends say he’s complicated, that his life is a dichotomy.
For example, he agrees to pose nude and appear in a porn video but has trouble giving a simple talk in front of his speech class at Edinboro.
“My biggest fear is public speaking,” he says. “I get so nervous before I go on. I don’t know why. Isn’t that funny? I can wrestle on ESPN and it doesn’t bother me.”
Donahoe always has been different. When he was 6, he begged his parents to sign him up for a wrestling match.
“I pinned a kid in six seconds,” he says. “That was my first match.”
Donahoe’s parents had five children, but then went through a messy divorce. He says his family is lower middle class. He wears ripped jeans and drives an old white Grand Am with directional signals that don’t work.
“I’ve basically been on my own since I was a freshman in high school,” he says.
Jennifer Hall, the wife of Roy Hall – Donahoe says they are like parents to him – was even blunter.
“There isn’t any money to be had,” she says. “He’s a great kid, but complicated. He’ll do whatever it takes to survive.”
“Obviously, I did it for the money,” he says. “We kept thinking no one would ever find out because it was a gay website and we really wanted that money.”
“They left me a lot of messages, so I thought, ‘What the heck?’ People do worse for money, so . . .”
His expenses were covered for a trip to Los Angeles and he was paid several thousand dollars. He was given the name “Nash” and identified as being from New England. He and Jordan were shown DVDs of naked women.
“They were very professional,” says Donahoe. “But me and Kenny both thought it was weird.”
He doesn’t consider what he did pornography.
“Maybe the site, yeah, but me personally, no,” he says. “I don’t think so.”
Once the video was posted, Donahoe was initially identified by the letter “N” and the word “wrestling” tattooed on his left thigh.
“They were supposed to cover it up but obviously they left it,” he says. “Gay kids in Lincoln [Neb.] wrote, ‘Hey, nice website. I saw you.’ I wrote back, ‘Don’t tell anyone,’ but with word of mouth, people found out.”
Donahoe was tossed off the team but not out of the university. Nebraska self-reported the violation to the NCAA.
“They said I promoted my image,” says Donahoe. “That’s illegal in the NCAA rules. I had to pay all the money back, a couple of thousand, to a nonprofit.
“I believe it was unfair for Nebraska to dismiss me from the team. For one, there’s plenty of athletes throughout the University of Nebraska who have had DUIs and who have been in fights and are still playing. But I guess that’s OK. Posing nude, I guess, is worse than someone drinking and driving and risking someone’s life, in their eyes.”
At a news conference last August, Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne denied that the wrestlers were railroaded. He said the university had notified the NCAA about another issue involving Donahoe last March but declined to be specific.
Donahoe says it was over an iPod.
“We get gifts at the Big 12 tournament,” he says. “We got a touch iPod and I sold it because I already had one, and that’s an NCAA violation and they turned me in for that. They just threw that in there to make it sound like I was worse, probably.”
He also was cited for having a disorderly house party and having an open container of an alcoholic beverage.
“They didn’t want me on their team, and they have no shot at winning the NCAA this year,” says Donahoe.
Last year, Donahoe finished third in the NCAAs despite a dislocated shoulder. Nebraska’s wrestling team is currently ranked fourth in the nation. Edinboro, a Division 2 school with a Division 1 wresting program, is 14th.
Support is out there
Edinboro teammate Gregor Gillespie, a national champ himself, says his teammates admire Donahoe.
“He’s really cool,” says Gillespie. “Before the season, a lot of people were talking bad about him. Like, ‘We don’t want him at our school.’ Right now, he’s proving people wrong. He’s had to switch coaches, schools, friends, that had to be a pain. He’s heard people yelling stuff like ‘homo,’ but none of that bothers him, he just brushes that all off.”
Donahoe says the reaction to him is “way more positive than negative.” He has more than 1,400 friends on Facebook.
“I’ve had a ton of people Myspace me and say, ‘I hope everything works out,’ ” he says. “I read them all. I’m thankful for people supporting me.
“The plan is to win this weekend. Watch ESPN. I’m pretty tough. Just say I’m a survivor.”
He also plans on attending USA Wrestling’s World Team trials in May and then making the Olympic team.
Some producers from New York contacted Donahoe about starring in a new reality show, he says, flashing a smile.
“I never got back to them.”
Well, 3 days have passed and I stopped one of my pills to see if I could change up my system and it seems to have worked. I have had no potty problems since stopping. I have been eating well, and everything seems to be ok. I did some internet reading about [Lipitor] and how it interacts with some HIV medications, some on the list of interaction are in my medicine cabinet. I assume that maybe this was also a problem for me.
I have an appointment to see the doc on March the 4th. Sometime between now and then I have to drop labs, since it is well due for them. I’ve been meditating on 1500 which is a nice round number to shoot for it would be a new high for me but let’s be honest, I don’t know if I can get that high on the number scale. We’ll see what happens. I don’t usually drop labs when I am in a low point emotionally – I usually wait until I am in a good swing to do them because it shows up in the numbers.
I started working on my Pastoral Ministry Sermon for the Diocese this weekend, and right now the presentation is 18 pages long. I am mid-way into my outline of stuff I want to talk about. I have incorporated some of my blog writing into the discussion which has filled a good deal of writing so far. The longest paper I have ever written for a class was 15 pages. I just have to maintain a writing schedule and make sure to at least write something on the paper every day for the next week while I am on reading week break.
Tonight I whipped up a huge casserole of Baked Ziti for dinner which went over very well. Now we have food to eat for the weekend. It’s a recipe that has been passed from friend to friend. A good meal was had by all…
I made an addition to the blog tonight. —> over there on the sidebar. It’s a photo of our friend Adam Frey.
I went through the Google Images to find it, it’s a shot of Adam from Flow Wrestling when he did an interview on Cancer. I also posted a video of an Iron Man tournament in 2004 wrestling at 130 lbs. where Adam wrestled from the Tube.
I was sitting here for the last couple of hours watching old video on the Tube of H.R. PuffnStuff – that was a show that I watched when I was a kid, I also have the box set here. It is very scary to see all the show clips from the 70′s and 80′s. It’s a lot of fun…
This week is reading week, so no classes. But I have work to get done this week so I might as well maximize my work time. There is snow in the forecast for the next couple of days. That will be nice. Just as long as it sticks and doesn’t melt, 10 cm of snow will be a good dusting.
Well that’s about it from the neighborhood. I am going to bed shortly. I just wanted to post an update for my regular readers. I want to tell you how important it is to hear from all of you. It means a lot to me that you take time out of your day to stop and write me.
I want to cross post something for Adam – it’s called PIN DOWN CANCER…
I know you want to do a good deed, so here is your chance. Go help Adam and his fellows to PIN DOWN CANCER…
This was posted the other night on Adam’s Blog.
This is going to be a quickie because, well I am tired and today was spent sleeping, wrestling, and then studying.
I do have an important thing to ask. My former high school team and the team I still help out with is wrestling the National Preps this weekend (for those of you who do not know, it is basically the state tournament for the prep school kids that cannot compete in their state tournaments due to certain stipulations). They are putting together their yearly “Pin Down” campaign. In my years it was Pin Down Hunger for the local food bank, then it became Pin Down Diabetes among other things. This year it is Pin Down Cancer with all the benefits going to the Hope Lodge.
For those of you who do not remember, I along with tons of other families spent time at the lodge during treatments. It is run by the American Cancer Society and provides free rooms to those who are going through treatments throughout the country. I believe there are currently over 20 Hope Lodges nationwide, the one I stayed at was in NYC. It saved me well, over three months of hotel costs. 90 days at $100 a night at least for NYC, and we are talking $9,000 dollars it saved me.
So, here is the deal. You pledge for each pin or fall the Blair team gets at the tournament or make a flat donation. Usually we average around 35-40 falls throughout the weekend, so if you pledged one dollar per fall it is about 40 dollars. That equals one dinner for two at Applebees. So, for sacrificing one dinner at Applebees, you can make a big difference in the life of someone battling cancer and needing a place to stay.
To sign up, go to www.blairwrestling.com. It is the first link on the side with a little write up and an email address to look up if interested. Two years ago they raised $14,000. With all of the people reading this post (and I know how many of you there are), an average donation of one cent per fall per reader plus donations collected by the wrestlers would easily double or triple that amount. That equates to one third a cup of coffee at McDonalds, or one fourth an Egg McMuffin. If any reader cannot sacrifice one third of one Egg McMuffin to help house people fighting the biggest fight of their lives, well, I for once don’t have a comment.
Take care, be generous, and help us to pin down cancer.
Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.”
Adam Frey vs Matt Dunn 2004 Ironman Wrestling 130lbs
There are three hours until V-Day. Did you buy your chocolates or nighties or teddy bears or flowers for your very special friends? I haven’t been to the store yet. Friday is an off day for me – the only thing that got me out of bed today was Canada Post who delivered my new wrestling shoes from the UK. Yes I found them on a website located in the UK. Woo Hoo !!!
Last night, if you all were paying attention to the comments, Adam came to visit and he left a comment, which brought a tear to my eye. I feel very honored by his visit.
In honor of V-day let us ponder the many messages of the Candy hearts. I wish you all a happy V-Day. Dinner is on the grill and we will be eating very soon.
More to come … stay tuned…
I took some time to think through what I wanted to share with you on this entry. I can identify with your feelings that you are missing out on your shot at greatness. If you look at this from a victim point of view, you will see it as a loss and it will hurt because you are not able to get the glory you believe you deserve. And I can understand how you feel with the fact that you can’t compete like you want to and that you have lost some of that glory with your illness taking up all of your time.
You write: “I just feel ripped off of my opportunity.” You can’t be beautiful and healthy with an ego that is out of check. Your feelings are your own but I get the sense that you feel entitled to your shot at greatness and you ARE and you WILL get that opportunity, just not right now. There are times we pray things from God, and the answers may vary… Maybe, Maybe Not and Not right now.
Right now you have a battle to fight and that is where you should point your energies. I have learned in sobriety, and this translates universally, you can’t be a spiritual person and love God and do good and have an inflated ego. You must transcend this problem (your ego).
You never know – after this cancer is defeated – that you may get the opportunity to fulfill your right to glory. One day in the future you may attain all that you are lamenting now. Bitterness, ego and negative thoughts are not going to serve you well. The ego has to go. That is where we get the teaching of humility. There are wrestlers who can do – right now – and they are. And you can’t begrudge them their victories and achievements. Because they are on their path and you are on your own. And I truly feel for you because I know what it feels like to “not be able to achieve some sense of greatness because of illness.” I know this, I have lived it.
You write: “It tears me up inside to the verge of tears to not even get that shot. And yeah, I know life isn’t fair. I know that better than most people walking the face of this earth. Although everyone finds it in themselves to remind me about how unfair life really is, it does not take away from its ever so unjust sting. Its freaking criminal.”
You are not in the position right now to “get that shot” this doesn’t means that you WON’T get that shot later on. If we live in optimism, then that shot is still yours to attain one day, but not right now. You can’t allow yourself to say that you won’t get that shot. You have to believe that one day you will. There has to be a kernel of faith in your soul that speaks to the possibility that one day you will attain that goal.
Life isn’t fair, and we all have our crosses to bear. I have mine and you have yours, and life took me down a road that I had no choice but to walk, and so you are walking yours. But I fought back and I marched on and I did what I had to do to survive, and I did survive. 15 years I have survived. Years beyond my expiratory date. And now just in the past year, I have been able to attain some extent of my goals, they are not the goals I had years ago, because those goals have changed because of the situation I found myself in. But I am doing it – finally.
Don’t play the victim. Don’t sit in this negativity for very long because it will eat you up inside and one day you will end up a very bitter young man. I don’t want that for you and neither does anyone else who knows you.
One day it will come, One day it will come, One day it will come young warrior.
I know you are heartbroken and busted up, but “This too shall pass.” You will see that in time, your journey will prepare you to be stronger, to push harder and to compete like a true warrior. That is where you should point your energies. That which does not kill us – Makes us stronger.
One day you will be WARRIOR. Today you are young warrior in training. You have a fight to fight. Look to those who are achieving greatness in wrestling and be proud of them, but don’t allow bitterness to invade your soul. You must let go the EGO. it will only keep you in a place of victim and negative bitter feelings. “Well, they owe me my shot, now, I should be in their stead. I should be the one getting the glory because I worked so damned hard to get here, and look at me now, I have this cancer – I can’t compete like I want to – and I am bitter…”
One Day Young Warrior – you will get your shot. But this is where you are right now. And acceptance is the key to all of your problems. You can’t change what is happening to you, you can only walk through it. And you must BE. We don’t know what God has in store for you, this is what he wants of you right now. To pray, to fight and to WIN. Be optimistic and be grateful that you are still alive and have air in your lungs. You are still alive, so God is NOT done with you yet.
One day at a time Young Warrior. This too shall pass…
It’s late Monday night as I write this. It has been snowing for hours now and there is a nice layer of clean white snow on the ground. More snow is on the way for the rest of the week.
I scored a great deal on Ebay tonight. First Generation Sydney EQT Wrestling shoes from the 2000 Sydney Olympics, which you can’t get on the open market any more. For the seasoned collector these are a coup. They fetch upwards of $200.00 a pair and sometimes more. I watched a similar pair run upwards of $350.00 on Ebay this past week, I did not pay that much for my pair. But they were steep. I almost lost the auction, I guess the people who were bidding against me did not have the desire to pump their bids further. That makes me the winner…
There is not much going on in my world. But I have been enjoying reading the holiday celebrations of some of my blogger friends. Not having a lot of family does not give up the occasion to celebrate Christmas and Boxing day (Second Christmas in Australia). It has been fairly quiet here, we’ve basically been home bodies for the last few days, eating the leftovers from the huge turkey I baked on Christmas. Dinner was a hit, but Hot Turkey Sandwiches after midnight are the real stars.
Tomorrow, (today) is Tuesday… I will have more to write after my home group meeting this evening. The snow birds have begun their exodus to the warmer climes of Florida for the rest of the Winter. So we are down a few members now until April.
I’ll see you all later today…
It’s just God damned not fair… Here is the latest news from Adam…
Well, two days ago I got sized for my new suit that I picked out in August. We figured that now that I put on my size it would be good and with signing the surgery papers the next day and the holidays and that, it would be a good thing to get it now.
We were going to, on Thursday, pick that up, sign the consent, and move along.
Of course, Thursday came and we were stuck waiting for about an hour. Put into a consultation room, a social worker, the surgeon, and my oncologist walked in. My HCG went from remission at 2.3 all the way back to 266. A blood test the next day put it at 320. My cancer is back and with a vengeance. Its back again. I, again, was escorted from test to test and was in the hospital for a 17 hours day. Another PET scan, another CT scan, more bloodwork, meetings with four doctors, and phone calls to even more were put in.
I don’t think there is much more to say other than surgery won’t work, everything shrunk, and a spot smaller than a computer key just won’t die. For the second time, I was one round away from putting it away. Well, now I sit here fighting a very uphill battle. I have to pick between one of four gambles that may give me up to a 15% chance to live.
The chemo is not nearly as bad as what I went through, and this round involves more antibody studies that attack the tumors and open them up to another type of chemo. I get to start before the New Year and hopefully they can get it to remitt for enough time to undergo surgery. I was two weeks away this time. Its like everytime I knock this thing down, it gets back up.
I really do not or will not know anything more until Monday. The optimism is that the new drugs will eat the taritoma leaving the option of a laproscopic surgery very possible, if I even make it to the table. Its going to be a difficult thing. The chemo won’t be hard at all. In fact, its indefinite cycles and its virtually without side effects. The truth is that biologically, something in there just will not die, and that makes it very difficult to beat. The two biggest guns have already been fired. All I have is this and then hopes and prayers that I can make it to 25. I’m 18 days shy of 23 right now.
Well, its probably about another year of chemo. For Christmas next year, I want to celebrate it without cancer. Thats it.
“Third time’s a charm”
Canada’s Carol Huynh celebrates after defeating Japan’s Chiharu Icho during their women’s 48kg gold medal match at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 16, 2008. (Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images)
CBC Sports @ CBC.CA
Kayaker Adam van Koeverden’s silver-medal performance on Day 15 of the Beijing Games pushed Canada’s medal tally to 18 — three gold, nine silver, six bronze.
With no Canadians scheduled to compete Sunday when the Games close, Canada’s medal haul equals the total from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
The Beijing Games marks the country’s third-best performance at the Olympics — Canada won 22 medals in 1996 in Atlanta and 44 in 1984 in Los Angeles, which were boycotted by the Soviet Union and several Eastern Bloc countries.
Here’s a look at all of Canada’s medal winners:
Canadian Adam van Koeverden won the silver medal in the K-1 500 on Saturday, finding some redemption after a dismal performance in the 1000 metres the day before.
“It was a great moment and the feeling is mostly relief,” he told CBC Sports. “Yesterday, I just didn’t feel like myself. Today, I was climbing back up, getting it back a little bit, but that last 200 still didn’t feel like me. It was a struggle, a well-fought struggle, and I’m really, really happy.”
Van Koeverden had a commanding lead for most of the race but, with about ten metres remaining, he was edged out by former training partner, Australian Ken Wallace, who clocked a time of one minute and 37.252 seconds.
Tim Brabants (1:37.671) of Great Britain claimed the bronze.
Karine Sergerie fought her way to Canada’s best-ever finish in taekwondo, winning silver in the 67-kilogram event.
The 23-year-old from Ste-Catherine, Que., lost a close gold-medal bout to the defending and reigning world champion, South Korea’s Kyungseon Hwang.
The bronze medallist at the 2004 Olympic Games, the South Korean beat Sergerie 2-1, scoring her final point in the last 30 seconds.
“The gold medal was the dream for me. I’m happy that I have the silver and I hope my country is proud of me, but this silver just pushes me even harder to come back and win that gold medal,” Sergerie told CBC.
Canadian Thomas Hall won a bronze medal in the C-1 1,000 canoe race, moving from fourth to third in the final 200 metres. He finished in a time of three minutes and 53.653 seconds.
Hall caught Vadim Menkov of Uzbekistan in the final 200 metres and finished about half a second ahead of him to reach the podium.
“I’m ecstatic. I don’t know what else to say,” Hall told CBC Sports. “I knew I had the ability but I didn’t know if I really had it on today. I’m really thrilled and I couldn’t be happier.
Equestrian Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, Ont., won the gold medal in the Olympic individual show-jumping competition.
Riding a horse named Hickstead, the Canadian defeated Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson in a jump-off to earn Canada’s third gold medal of the Beijing Games.
The victory was sweet redemption for Lamaze, who missed out on the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and the 2000 Sydney Games due to positive drug tests. He’s also a member of the Canadian team that won silver in the team jump competition in China.
“When you give people chances and allow them to come back from their mistakes, great things happen and I’m a perfect example that you shouldn’t give up on people,” an emotional Lamaze told CBC Sports.
Canadian diver Emilie Heymans turned in her best-ever individual Olympic performance, capturing a silver medal.
Heymans, who hails from St-Lambert, Que., secured her second-place standing with a stellar fifth and final dive at the National Aquatics Center, for a total score of 437.05.
“I’m just really happy. It’s hard work for my entire life that came through now,” Heymans told CBC Sports after matching fellow Canadian Alexandre Despatie’s showing in men’s springboard. “I trained really hard for this and I’m just really happy that I finally get a medal in my individual event.
Canadian Priscilla Lopes-Schliep won a bronze medal in the 100-metre hurdles final, a race won by Dawn Harper of the United States.
Harper was timed in 12.54 seconds, with Sally McLellan of Australia taking silver.
Lopes-Schliep, of Whitby, Ont., ran in 12.64 seconds, the same time as McLellan, but officials ruled that McLellan was ahead by mere thousandths of a second.
Alexandre Despatie won Canada’s third medal on Day 11, finishing second in the men’s three-metre springboard diving competition.
Despatie, a 23-year-old native of Laval, Que., finished with a total score of 536.65 points from six dives to claim the silver medal.
He also took the silver medal at the 2004 Athens Games.
“My silver medal is gold to me because of all the bad things that happened to me this year,” said Despatie. “I was able to get it together.”
Canada’s Jason Burnett won silver in men’s trampoline.
Burnett, 21, was the second finalist on the trampoline and earned a score of 40.70 for his routine, which featured a degree of difficulty of 16.8 – the highest in the final.
The three-time Canadian champion from Toronto told the CBC that playing it safe with an easier routine wasn’t even a consideration.
“No, definitely not,” Burnett said. “This is the Olympics. This is it. Why play it safe?
“You might as well put it all on the line and go for broke, and it paid off today with a silver medal.”
Canada’s Simon Whitfield captured the silver medal in the men’s triathlon.
Whitfield, who lives in Victoria, mounted a furious rally to briefly take the lead late in the closing sprint before being overtaken over the final stretch by Germany’s Jan Frodeno.
“I kind of fought my way on there, and I thought there’s no time like the present,” Whitfield said. “I tried to make it a battle of pure willpower. I gave it everything I had.”
Canada earned a silver in the team jumping competition, giving veteran rider Ian Millar his first medal in his ninth Olympic appearance.
Canada was tied with the United States with 20 penalty points at the Hong Kong equestrian venue, but three American riders went through the course perfectly in a jump-off.
Millar, 61, led Canada into the tiebreaker round with a perfect ride on In Style. Millar was due third in the jump-off, but the Americans ensured he didn’t have a chance to go again.
“The support we’ve had all year, everybody’s recognized that we had a shot at this thing, such enthusiasm, such support, and that’s a big motivator to us,” Millar told CBC Sports. “We all say thank you very much to those who support it and those who believe in us.”
Jill Henselwood of Oxford Mills, Ont., and Eric Lamaze of Schombeg, Ont., also competed for Canada. Henselwood rode Special Ed, with Lamaze on Hickstead.
Canada’s Karen Cockburn won the silver medal in the women’s trampoline, her third Olympic medal in the event.
Cockburn, of Stouffville, Ont., earned a score of 37.00 for her routine, which had a degree of difficulty of 14.4, to earn Canada its eighth medal overall of the Games.
“It feels amazing,” Cockburn told the CBC. “I was just honoured to be here competing in my third Games for Canada and to come out again on the podium with a silver medal… I don’t think it’s sunk in yet, but I’m really happy.”
The men’s eight rowing team finished the job they started four years ago by winning a gold medal.
Canada led wire-to-wire in the final race at Beijing’s Shunyi Olympic rowing park. Taking the silver was Great Britain and taking the bronze was the U.S.
Canada finished in a time of five minutes, 23.89 seconds.
“We never stopped, we just kept on pushing, every stroke,” said coxswain Brian Price.
Canadian women’s lightweight double sculls rowing pair Melanie Kok and Tracy Cameron clinched the bronze medal in a photo finish.
Kok and Cameron finished in six minutes, 56.68 seconds, behind Kirsten van der Kolk and Marit van Eupen of the Netherlands, who won the gold, and Sanna Sten and Minna Niemenen of Finland, who took silver.
The race came to such a close finish that the result was in doubt for several seconds before the Canadians realized they had beaten the Germans by 0.04 seconds.
“We had to find a little something extra to get beyond them,” Cameron told the CBC. “Just close your eyes and go.”
The Canadian lightweight men’s four won Canada’s second rowing bronze.
The crew of Iain Brambell, Jon Beare, Mike Lewis and Liam Parsons finished in five minutes, 50.09 seconds at Shunyi Olympic rowing park.
Canada used a late surge to grab a medal, and almost moved into second place in the final leg
Teenager Ryan Cochrane won Canada’s first Olympic swimming medal since 2000, taking bronze in the 1,500-metre freestyle.
The 19-year-old from Victoria finished third in a time of 14 minutes 42.69 seconds.
Fourth-place finisher Yuriy Prilukov mounted a furious campaign for the bronze over the final few laps. But the Russian was held off at the end by Cochrane, who had battled Hackett for first place for much of the race.
“I knew that [Prilukov] could catch me because he did in the 400 [freestyle],” Cochrane told CBC Sports. “I knew I just had to give my all.”
Canadian wrestler Tonya Verbeek won the second Olympic medal of her career and Canada’s third of the Beijing Games on Day 8.
The Beamsville, Ont., native won bronze in the 55-kilogram weight class, beating Ida-Theres Nerell of Sweden by a score of 1-0, 1-0 in one of two bronze medal matches.
She was smiling after the match, despite finishing one medal position below her 2004 Athens result. “I won a match to get the bronze and you’re losing a match to get the silver,” Verbeek said. “So it is a different feeling.”
Wrestler Carol Huynh of Hazelton, B.C., won Canada’s first gold medal on Day 8.
The 27-year-old captured gold in the 48-kilogram freestyle weight class over Japan’s Chiharu Icho by a score of 4-0 and 2-1.
“This is unbelievable,” she told CBC Sports following the medal ceremony. “I knew I wanted to go in with supreme confidence in my abilities, and not doubting myself one second. That’s what I did, and I wrestled the match of my life, and it was awesome.”
The Canadian men’s rowing pair Scott Frandsen and Dave Calder ended Canada’s Olympic medal drought on Day 8.
The pair won a silver medal on the water at Shunyi Olympic rowing park on Saturday, the first Canadians to reach the medal podium in Beijing.
“It was a tough race, we tried to ignore the fact that we haven’t had a medal yet as a country, and just focus on our two [kilometres],” Calder told CBC Sports after the race.
“We can come off the water knowing we had a great race,” said Frandsen.
By Elizabeth Merrill
ESPN.com LINK HERE TO STORY
BEIJING — The hair is unbearably short now. It is curly and cropped close to his cauliflower ears, the victim of a scissor-happy barber in Beijing. The woman wouldn’t stop cutting. Before Ben Askren knew it, 5 inches were on the floor.
This is how badly Askren wants to win a gold medal — he shed his coveted locks, his trademark — because the international guys like to pull on them when they wrestle.
“‘Vision Quest’ is a terrible, terrible movie,” Askren says during a deep-thoughts session from his room in the Olympic Village. “It’s just so stereotypical and ’80s.”
It is Monday afternoon in Beijing, less than 48 hours before the American will wrestle in his first Olympic match. He’s had a lot of time to think about hair, handball and bad wrestling movies, maybe too much. For nearly two weeks, while Michael Phelps won eight gold medals and 180 national anthems were played, Askren has been waiting. The night of the Opening Ceremony, wide-eyed and anxious, he asked a strange young woman to take a picture of him. The woman ended up being President Bush’s daughter Barbara.
Askren laughed it off. This is why matheads think he might go all the way — he is loose and unconventional.
He has heard about the betting line, the one that puts his gold-medal chances at 20 to 1. It is not that ridiculous. Askren is 24 years old, a baby in the eyes of grizzled superheroes like Russian Buvaysa Saytiev and Cuban Ivan Fundora. Saytiev is the gold standard; he won it all in Atlanta and Athens. If he takes this Olympics, he will be considered one of the greatest wrestlers ever.
Nobody at China Agricultural University Gymnasium, it seems, is talking about Askren. The preview sheet for the 163-pound (74-kilogram) freestyle field comes out, and Askren is not mentioned among favorites or challengers. There is one sentence about him at the bottom.
“Ben Askren is an outspoken young wrestler with limited international experience…”
It doesn’t rankle Askren.
“In my head, there is a 100 percent chance I’m going to win,” he says. “I think I should win every time I go on the mat.”
The thing about Askren’s hair is that it is always a conversation piece. When he was at the University of Missouri in 2006, he cut it into a mullet after nationals. He was a rock star in Columbia, easily spotted around campus with his wild, blond ‘fro.
His wrestling style was called “funky.” His long, lanky body allowed him to take chances. Askren became a two-time NCAA champion at 174 pounds and a four-time finalist. He still holds the NCAA’s single-season pins record and is the first Mizzou grad to become an Olympic wrestler.
When the local paper, the Columbia Tribune, did a Q&A with him called “The Ben Commandments,” he was asked if he was good enough to make the Olympics.
“No,” Askren said 17 months ago, “but I think I will be shortly.”
Two times a day, 12 years of workouts. Askren says making the Olympics didn’t hit him until he was asked to speak in front of a bunch of kids, telling them about how he got there. When he got in his car afterward, he started to bawl.
He bought a $27 suit at a silk store in Beijing, but he questions if it’s actually an Armani. He scaled the Great Wall. Now, Askren is bored. He must lose about 10 pounds in 26 hours. Normally, wrestlers hate
talking about cutting weight, especially just before a match.
Askren simply shrugs. He’ll eat a small breakfast Monday, a couple of Clif Bars for lunch and a light dinner. He’ll sweat off the bulk of the weight he needs to lose in the sauna. He’ll also drop a few pounds with what he calls a “light” cardiovascular workout Monday night.
Fact is, he can’t do much today. If he walks around the city, he’ll expend too much energy. He can’t talk too much on his international phone, either, because it costs too much.
He will have an entourage of roughly 30 people in Beijing on Wednesday, friends and followers from Missouri and his hometown of Hartland, Wis. They love him for his humor, his swagger and the way his chin juts out before matches. At the Olympic trials this summer, some of his flock made up T-shirts that said, “Putting the Chin in China.”
Askren told them to leave the shirts home because he “didn’t want to make anyone upset” in Beijing. He has been wrestling internationally for only one year but was brimming with confidence at the trials, where he told reporters that he would win a gold medal.
“If I could compare him to one person …” says Martin Floreani of flowrestling.com, “he is to the wrestling world what Muhammad Ali is to the boxing world. He’s that much of an entertainer.
“He’s cocky, he’s confident, he’s brash. He’s outspoken and funny. People either love him or hate him. It makes him special.”
It is Tuesday afternoon, weigh-in time for Askren. He is not worried about making it. He scoffs at the notion that the scale might tip at 164. He’s come too far to not make weight.
The weigh-in room is in the warm-up area of the China Agricultural University Gymnasium. Askren lays face-down on a mat before stepping on the scale. He comes in perfectly, then draws a card to find out who he’ll be wrestling tomorrow. It is not good news. Askren picks No. 14, which means he will not get a bye and would have to face the Cuban in the second round and Saytiev in the third.
He says he is unconcerned about the draw, but is noticeably quieter than Monday. “I’m excited about it because I get to see exactly how good I am,” he says. “I’m ready to rumble.”
He says he doesn’t know when he’ll go to bed tonight. “When I get tired.”
He says he feels no pressure to win for the people of Hartland or Missouri.
“What I do tomorrow,” he says, “I do for myself.”
Askren watches the high jump on TV late Tuesday night before going to sleep. They get four Olympic channels in the village. He watched softball on Monday and let out an “Oooh” when someone got hit in the leg.
Most wrestlers hate being bothered the night before a match. An hour and a half before world trials last year, Askren chatted with Floreani about global warming while helpers scurried to fix his hair up in corn rows.
“I want to save my focus,” Askren says. “I know I’m ready. I know I have all the ability.”
The Askren cheering section is easy to find. They’re the ones in the middle of the bleachers, wearing bushy wigs and holding American flags. When Askren walks out to the mat at about 10 a.m., he looks up at his fans, sticks his chin out and smiles.
His Hungarian opponent takes a quick 2-0 lead, then Askren turns it on. He pins Istvan Vereb, slaps his hands together, then nods to the crowd.
In 20 minutes, after a quick rest on the mats in the warm-up area, Askren will be out again to face Fundora. He’s 32 and won a bronze medal in Athens.
The knock on Askren is he’s great on the offensive but struggles when wrestlers go after his legs. Fundora does that immediately. He is one of the best tacklers in the world. Fundora wins the first period 3-1, and the “USA” chants can’t help Askren. He falls behind 2-0, then 4-0.
He stands with his hands on his hips when it’s over and the Cuban moves on. Askren must now hope that Fundora beats the Russian so he can continue on for a bronze. It’s called, “Follow the leader.” If Fundora loses, Askren is finished.
Saytiev beats the Cuban, and Askren finally emerges behind the gates to speak to the media. The chin quivers. He starts to sob.
“I don’t know what you want to hear from me,” Askren says. “My dreams are crushed.
“I just wasn’t good enough. I sucked.”
Two weeks, and he’s done in two hours. Askren says he doesn’t know where he’ll go from here. There has been talk that he’ll try mixed martial arts, but his coach, Shawn Charles, is sure Askren will be back. He couldn’t end it this way.
After an awkward pause, Askren leaves. He has nothing else to say.