May 19, 2008
This morning we were on the mat. I was sparring with Cuba, Hungary and Italy. The wrestling room doesn’t have any ventilation so it is difficult to breathe after all the oxygen gets used up by the athletes. It also gets very hot in the room and the humidity was 94% in Rome today. It was more in the room as we were all sweating quite a bit. I lost about 3 kilos of water this morning in training. Then we had lunch and a little rest. In the afternoon we lifted weights and then Murray worked on me. My body is feeling really good because Murray is working on me every day. Now it is dinner time and we are going to our favorite restaurant here. The cafeteria food is getting a little old and the portions are small. The guy who owns the restaurant is our best buddy now – his food is amazing. He uses olive oil and some kind of salt on his steaks which makes them great. The pasta is ok too. He also gives us bread which is heated on an open grill and then topped with the olive oil and salt. I don’t think I have ever enjoyed bread so much.
May 22, 2008
Today we traveled to the island of Sardinia for a competition on Saturday. The airplane seats were very small and the plane was very full. After we sat on the runway for 45 minutes in the hot cramped plane, I was invited to exchange my seat for one with some leg room. The first one I was in was built for a person no taller than 5 feet and weighing no more than 120 pounds. There were many of these people on the plane who seemed quite comfortable. After moving to my new seat I said hello to the therapist for the freestyle team who was also on the plane. His name is Wilbur and he lives in Vancouver. He will be one of the therapists in China tasked with working with all athletes.
The Canadian Olympic freestyle team is also taking part in this competition and has already flown to Sardinia. They will then go to Iran for some training and a competition before heading home.
May 23, 2008
Today is the weigh in for my competition tomorrow. I was 2 kg over my weight limit of 122 kg when I woke up this morning. I had a small breakfast and went back to my room. People typically spend this day resting or sweating in an effort to make weight while conserving as much energy as possible for the competition tomorrow. My goal is to loose my weight at the last minute in order to ensure that my body is depleted of water and food for the shortest period of time possible. The weigh in is at 7:30 pm today which is very late – normally it is at 3 or 4 pm. A late weigh in is difficult for the athletes because it gives them less time to replenish their food and water before the start of the competition. There is no access to a bike or sauna so the only way loose water is to run or wrestle. As running doesn’t agree with my body, I will be wrestling. I will probably start at 4 or 5 pm in order to ensure I am on weight by the weigh in.