Greetings from Rio...
First off I want to apologize ( to the people who do regularly read our happenings via my blog). I did not add any Blog entries at the World Championships this year and really failed to promote the accomplishments of my team there.
It can be a daunting process at time taking the time and energy to commit to writing, yet I have had many tell me they appreciate my entries. I will do my best to get back to Blogging this year.
Uzbekistan Worlds Summary:
Briefly, but truly heart felt, I want to acknowledge Jillian Gallays's performance at this years Worlds. The previous years have been hard for Jill in so many ways. Competing in a weight class where we had a bonified super star over the last quad, dealing with injuries, and ultimately dropping an extra two kilos were all major challenges. Getting over these challenges all helped to make Jill the person and wrestler she is today! Her performance in Tashkent was gritty, tough, and inspired. Her bronze medal was a highlight of the event.
We also had a number of others compete tough over the course of the Worlds, but unfortunately we were unable to crack the podium twice. We had four other top ten performances Lappage and Yeats (8th), while Fazzari and Wiebe were 10th. It was not our finest Worlds, yet I want my team to hold there heads high and look back at the 2014 season as a success! Non of our losses at Worlds were to weak opponents. The opponents we lost to had a minimum of three matches in the tourney (4 finalists, 4 bronze medal match, 2 top eight). There were some outstanding matches, and I know our wrestlers (like Jillian) are ready to go through adversity enroute to their personal goals! WE WILL GET THERE!
The fall has been filled with debriefs, and analysis on many levels. Athletes feedback, coaching analysis, meetings with our stakeholders Sport Canada, Own The Podium, Canadian Olympic Committee. All intended to help us steer our ship in the right direction heading towards 2016. After some soul searching we have all strengthened our resolve, moving forward.
We had 15 Women make the journey to Rio this week for the Rio Cup. For many this is their second exposure to the Brazilian culture (we came in 2012 following London). I hope the experience is a valuable one. Getting accustom to the often chaotic life here, and the climate and conditions will help ensure that our Olympians, and staff members will be ready for Rio 2016. Also I had been told Japan will compete and train at this event. So I felt it was important that we take this opportunity to gain experience against the most successful female wrestling nation.
Thus far the experience has not disappointed. Our team has seen and dealt with challenging conditions ... (heat, illnesses, traffic, hotel issue). They have taken every little issue in stride, and been very focussed on enjoying the ride. Training has been very solid and productive for our team as well.
We are weighing in today, and looking forward to competing tomorrow!
I expect some tough matches tomorrow!
I am looking very forward to this opportunity to compete well in Rio.
Support our Team! They are one of the best in the World!