Greatings from Struer...
I know, i know, you are probably thinking I thought the Worlds were in Herning Denmark. Well... after a long day of travel we are tucking our selves into bed at the Grand Hotel in a little community called Struer. Actually a 45 minute drive from Herning... Our long day of travel included a long layover in Frankfurt Germany for our group, then we arrived into Billund Denmark and were promptly picked up and driven to Herning. Upon arriving we were faced with a number of positives, and not so positives about this years World Championships. On the positive side of things the actual tournament venue and set up seem to be excellent. Dave McKay was saying how nice the arena, Warm-up area, and training venue is at this years worlds. It should be excellent from a spectator perspective as well. Outside of the arena is the biggest Wrestling "tailgate party" you are ever going to find with tonnes of RV's set to pull in and stay for duration of the championships.
Now since the Worlds became a combined event in 2001 (Greco, Freestyle, and Women) each years Championships has been held in a Major Centre (like Sofia Bulgaria, Guangou China, Budapest Hungary, etc.). This years the championships are in Herning with a population somewhere around 50 000 people! What a difference from the major metropolis centres we have become accustom to. I was sitting next to Craig Seeker (Us Journalist) on the Drive from the airport and he was commenting about how the country side reminded him of Iowa. Wide open spaces and lots of corn fields, along with other agriculture. It was a very beautiful and relaxed country side.
We arrived to the accreditation centre at the competition venue... what a crazy, hectic setting! Thank goodness for John Dawson, our team leader, who had stood in line for 4 hours prior to our arrival to ensure or process would be fairly painless. So many different countries, all pushing and shoving to get to the front of a few lines. Its probably a good thing that I couldnt understand a lot of the things being said....! This is where we received the news that we would be staying in Struer. Our men's team who had arrived early in the week were staying in the host hotel immediately adjacent to the competition venue. As a small community Herning is lacking the big hotels able to accomodate the volume of people at an event like this. So we were told we would be staying (our women's team) in a near by town 45 minutes away! Seeing the challenges the hosting committee were obviously facing, and trying to be positive we made no big deal about our circumstances. After a dinner at the competition venue (which was quite decent), we headed out to the front to catch our bus to our new home. Our girls did a great job being patient and positive.. as we were forced to wait another extended amount of time until they found some transportation to take us to our hotel... One schedule said we were supposed to take a bus marked route 7, while another schedule said route 9. Ultimately we were driven in a van with no sign on it!
At the hotel, we had a quick meeting with our team, which at this point is Rushton, Bondy, Verbeek, and Bouchard. They were all in good spirits and we discussed the challenges we may face thru the week given our geographic location. Our girls are going to get up in the morning and go for a workout at the near by fitness centre. We will then take a bus (hopefully) back to Herning in the early afternoon and get a good Mat workout. Tonight Todd (Hinds) and I took a quick little walk and appraisal of Struer... It seems like a very quaint little danish town and i am sure our experience here, and the experience throughout the week will be as memorable as any thus far! We are looking forward to the arrival of the rest of our team soon and the competition around the corner. John, Saeed, and Haislan weigh-in tomorrow. Our girls cant wait for there turn! Lindsay Rushton was talking to me tonight and she told me she cant remember being so excited to get on the mat and compete...!
Anyways... Thats all from Denmark for now.
I will write again in the morning after a nuch needed nights sleep!
All the best from our team!