Monday, September 22, 2008

Getting Ready for my first comp. after the games.

So just a short post to update people who are checking the site out, I will be back in competition on the 5th of Oct, here in Montreal at the Rendez Vous canada.. which is basically our Canadian open. So far there are a lot of good quality players from around the world entered and it should be a great event.

As for me, my training is getting back to normal. To be honest it took me awhile before I actually felt like training again. I put so much effort into training and getting ready for the games that I was a little burnt out afterwards.

These next two weeks leading up to the Canadian Open I will be going at 100%, im not going to take anytime off before the tournament because for me the goal is to continue training until the world cup in feb.

Well like I said just a short update, off to take my nap. :P...

First week Home – Perth homecoming

The first week back in Canada was great! I relaxed, worked out a bit. I had some time to think about my game plan for the upcoming season – what my goals are etc. But before I got a chance to do all that I actually had to head back to Perth for the Olympians Homecoming – which was the DAY AFTER I got home!! When I first heard about it, I really didn’t think I was going to feel like getting off a plane and then drive home for a homecoming. Well I am so glad that I did, the homecoming was amazing, the afternoon started off with a press conference at cods mill – which had about 4 camera crews, and some local reporters asking all of the Olympians some different questions. If you don’t know the four Olympians they are Silver medalist Ian Miller, Hammer thrower – Sultana, Swimmer
- Mike Brown, and Myself.

After the press conference was done it was down to the mustang convertibles to get our drive around the town. Two of us per car, and we sat on the back of the trunk like the beauty queens lol. We actually waved to everyone as the police escort took us towards the crystal palace. So far so good I thought – we all had no idea about what we were going to see, there must have been 1500 people waiting to greet us home. They were cheering and clapping, was a great feeling to be welcomed home like that! After the cars stopped we worked our way through the greeting crowd and onto the stage to talk to everyone who came to welcome us home. After all of us said a few words it was off to sign autographs, which only took about 2 and1/2 hours lol. None the less it was an awesome event! Which will be even better in 2012 when all of us bring home medals!

Friday, September 5, 2008

26th – Home

It was kind of sad day - getting on the bus, heading home - not because I didn’t stand on the podium, I mean I still think about my loss every day I wake up, but I’m not really sad about it anymore. The reason I was kinda sad was because maybe that was the last chance I will get to compete at such a high level. Maybe that was it, my one and only Olympics. As everyone knows nothing is promised in this world, and I am really happy that I got a chance to represent my country at the biggest sporting event worldwide. I will do my best to be here in 4 years, there are a lot of factors such as injury that will play a part in that. But when and if I do make that team for 2012 you can bet I will be going for nothing but Gold. I want to be the first person from Canada to win an Olympic gold in Judo and hopefully will a lot of hard work my dream will come true in 4 years time.

The day was pretty much the same as every travel day for us, we headed to the airport, hung out in the lounge for a bit until our boarding time was up, and then headed for home sweet home. This trip was a long one and I am looking forward to just relaxing a bit, sitting on my couch and watching some NFL football. The season will be starting soon, so I can’t wait!

25th – Our last day – Other team mates leave.

As I packed up and said good bye to my team mate, and people who I met from other sports and other countries, I had a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. You know everyone comes here for one reason or another, some come here for a political stand, some are here just to be here, and a lot of us, including myself came here to win, although I didn’t come home with a medal, I did come home with a little bit more insight as to how good our lives are back home and how lucky we are to be Canadian. I defiantly have had a lot of fun here, meeting new people and having some great times watching the events, and as I’m leaving – I really do begin to realize how amazing the Olympic games are – not only for a chance at glory but for so many other reasons. One world one dream is the slogan here in Beijing, and even china has adapted a real effort towards bettering people’s lives and having world peace. Or at least they look like they are trying :P. Anyways today we didn’t do anything at all, we packed up the rest of our stuff, and then went and traded some of our team Canada gear for some other gear from other countries. After that it was a relaxed night, and an early bed time.

Aug 24 Last day – closing ceremony

Today we slept in and woke up around noon, and well actually headed back to the Silk market again to finally pick up our suits, after trying the suits on and seeing what they looked like we were finally happy. After that it was back to the village to get ready for the closing ceremonies. As everyone knows we had some funny looking pyjama type closing ceremony outfits, but we had fun with it and rocked them like super stars lol.:P, I think my favourite part was the headband/ bandana :S. Anyways everyone met outside of the apt buildings and took pictures, talked a little and basically just waited until we left for the birds nest one last time. The closing ceremonies for me were not as fun and emotional as the opening because well when you walk into the opening ceremonies you really get that feeling, that says – WOW I am an Olympian. For me the closing ceremonies were a time to think about the Olympics and well – it really made me think that I want to be back in 4 years and I want to win in 4 years. The Olympics is defiantly a special event, and I am very happy to have been a part of it, but I won’t be happy in 4 years if I am just a part of it, my goal going into the games will be GOLD, and only GOLD – I will be happy with a podium, but Gold is just so much sweeter, because you get to hear your national anthem! Anyways at closing we went around and got pictures with some of the famous people like Yao Ming and of course some more with other team mates, after the Closing it was back to the village. I actually went out with everyone, but ended up coming back like 15min after being in the club because I was soo tired and just not in the mood to stay out. Yes everyone was calling me names because I went back :P.

Aug 23rd – Picking up the suit

Today we went back to the silk market to pick up our tailor made suits, which kinda back fired because they were not ready just yet, so the trip over was kind of pointless, oh well – we can’t complain too much, because the prices are crazy good. After going to the silk market it was back to the apt buildings to take a nap because tonight was going to be the last big night out for everyone. After waking up we got dressed and headed off to a club called GT banana, which I must say is a pretty nice club, the only bad part was the music was the loudest I have ever heard in a club, but I guess I got used to it. Tonight was an all or nothing night – we went out with about 50 Canadians and also some other countries ended up coming along as well. When we got there we got a huge vip area on the top floor looking over the dance floor, which was below. Frazer, Keith and myself decided to order a couple of bottles and pretend to be high rollers for the night, which is not very hard in china because everything is so cheap lol.. either way the Canadians rocked that club – we ended up being the center of attention and it turned out to be a pretty fun night. The club actually has a bouncing dance floor, so it kinda jumps up and down, they also had some crazy bubbles that were going into the crowd, most of the Canadians were just happy sitting up top and relaxing but it was pretty fun to watch. Plus it was also packed down on the dance floor so we actually didn’t end up going down there. After the night started to wrap up we headed back to the village and went to bed, but only after hitting up the 24hr cafeteria :P

Aug 22 – Sick

This morning I woke up with a sore throat! I’m assuming it’s because of all the late nights that we have been having, so I went down to see the doctor, and see if could get some meds – she told me that I wasn’t alone, she figured she had already gave out 20 bottles of cough syrup, which was no surprise to me. Athletes are pretty extreme people, meaning we do things at 100%, all or nothing. Well that includes going out and having fun. Athletes don’t normally get a chance to go out to a club and actually have a couple drinks and relax when we are training, so when the Olympics is over its normally – Eat, sleep, Cheer on other team mates still competing and party, emphasis on the party, because we all know in a couple days its back to the gyms and back to work for the next 4 year cycle. I used to think wow 4 years is such a long time, well in one way it is, but before I know it, I will be back trying to qualify for 2012 and back writing about my 2nd trip to the games, and hopefully back to take a medal. Nothing is 100% so I still have a lot of work to do, and it’s still going to be hard to qualify and even harder to make sure that I have the day of my life in 4 years, and take that medal.

After getting my meds I went back upstairs and fell back asleep, when I woke up it was early afternoon so I went down stairs to see if I could get any track and field tickets – which I couldn’t! But my buddy Mike Brown ended up having 3 tickets that he reserved and wasn’t going to use so Sasha, Frazer and I went to watch some track and the main event - the 4 x 100m relay final!.. BOLT from Jamaica, all I can say is wow – two world records in the 100 and 200m and one more to try and make history. Well the night had some good races and exciting events but when the 4 x 100m relay teams started coming out on to the track, you could just feel the energy in the air. Everyone started to get up and cheer. People were about to witness history if Jamaica could take the world record away from the Americans. The Americans couldn’t even try to defend the title because they actually were not even in the final. They ended up dropping the baton in the semi final so they failed to make it to the final for one of the first times in Olympic history!
The 100m relay was awesome, after the first 2 runners the heat was pretty much dead even, that is until Jamaica handed the baton off to the fastest man alive – Bolt, wow he took off like a bullet out of a shot gun. We were sitting at the finish line which was pretty sweet, so we could see the finish - but we could also see when bolt got the baton and within a few steps he had the outright lead and after a few more Jamaica was sure to win. When Bolt handed the baton off to Powell, the rest of the field was now only racing for the silver and bronze medals, and Jamaica claimed yet another gold medal in sprinting and a new world record to boot. Canada ended up coming very close with a 6th place finish, I say close because all the times were within 1/100 of a second apart. Which is pretty crazy!

Anyways track and field finished up around 10pm so we headed back to the dorms to get ready for our night out to Suzy wongs, which is just another club type scene. I actually ended up leaving early from there because I was very tired and just needed some rest, plus I was not feeling very good all day. Actually the only reason I went out is because the Olympics doesn’t come around everyday so I wanted to go and chill out with some other athletes from other countries and meet new friends. I have actually have made a lot of new friends from different sports which is kinda cool, because now I have connections and friends in even more places all over the world :P... vacation anywhere in the world and have friends to visit.

Aug 21 – Wrestling

So today we woke up to a wild down pour of nice Beijing rain. While being here in Beijing, I got the chance to see how hard it actually rains here, which is pretty crazy, because a light rain is pretty much a down pour – the streets get all backed up with like 6inches of water and for the people who live in the city I’m sure it’s a pain, because the water just piles up, so it gets kind of hard to get around. Anyways so we decided that we wanted to go watch some wrestling today because one of our friends was competing so we put our rain coats on, grabbed our umbrellas and went over to cheer him on.
Although he didn’t win his match is was nice to go watch some other sports besides judo - even though wrestling is pretty close to judo, still nice to go watch.

So as everyone probably knows I used to be National champion in wrestling as well as judo, so I know what the rules are and how the scoring goes. Well recently, I also heard about the NEW rules because a lot of people have been complaining about how bad the new rules make wrestling, well they were right – it’s almost bad enough that I don’t want to watch it anymore. They are going to need to change the new rules because they are horrible for the sport, and it is losing its attraction.

I’ll just explain one rule to you, so that you understand what I am saying – oh yeah and this is how the Canadian girl lost the bronze medal match, well actually a lot of people lost their matches like this. Anyways she lost 1- 1?? So, does that make any sense to anyone, well let me explain. She scored on the girl around the half way mark making it 1-0, well with 5 seconds left the other girl ended up scoring a point making the match tied right?? Well you would think so, but NOPE - the person who scores the last point wins the match, which means if you are behind and come back to tie things up – well you not only tie it up YOU WIN!. Which is crazy, they don’t have overtime – it’s just done! They say the matches are too long, well wrestling used to be offensive, meaning lots of action, well now it’s all defensive and hardly any points are scored – the wrestlers don’t work on the ground because they are scared to get scored on. So honestly it has change the sport so much, that you can even see the look on people’s faces when they win, or loose in that situation, which happens 90% of the time. Such a bad call to change the rules, and that is only one rule, the other ones are just as bad. Everyone who I have talked to about them doesn’t like them, and thinks that the sport is not fun to watch.

Anyways now the international judo federation wants to change some of the rules for judo as well, and the rules they are thinking about bringing in, are also pretty bad – we will just have to wait and see what happens, hopefully they keep the same draw system and only change some of the scoring because it will also make our sport totally different. Anyways after that we headed back to the dorms and rested for the afternoon by watching some sports on TV, we would like to go and watch in person, but the tickets are hard to get, even for athletes! Tonight we headed out to the BUD CLUB again, which was pretty good; there are a lot more athletes who are finished competing now, so it is packed in there. After the club we headed back to the apt to get some sleep.