Zeke Honegger Blog From Sweden
Saturday Nov. 3, Sunday Nov. 4
On Saturday morning we woke up for breakfast at 7:00 and headed to the arena at 8:00 to get ready for the tournament. Wrestling started at 9:00. The biggest brackets were started first, so some of our team had wrestled 2 or more times before others had wrestled at all. The tournament went until about 5:00, and 5 of our team were left after the first day. We went back to the skydiving club and ate tacos for dinner, then hung out and watched movies for the rest of the evening.
On Sunday we woke up at the same time and went to the arena for another 9:00 start. By 1:00 our team was finished with the tournament. We ended with 3 place winners: Ramon Moreno, 55kg, 2nd place; Mike Mioni, 60kg, 2nd place, Brandon Rivera, 96kg, 4th place.
After the tournament we went and ate lunch and walked around a mall in Västerås, then went back to the club and watched movies for the remainder of the evening. Tomorrow morning we wake up at 4:30 and leave for Stockholm at 5:00am. We fly from Arlanda at 10:15 a.m. and are due back in Chicago at 12:25 in the afternoon.
Friday Nov. 2, 2012
At 11:00 we took a team picture with the coaches from Brännans, and they gave all the wrestlers and coach Aghasi t-shirts. Then we waited around until 12:30 when we departed for Västerås. The drive took about 5.5 hours, and was mostly relaxing. It was nice to sit and nap in the car and let our bodies rest from the week of training.
We arrived at the Bombardier Arena in Västerås a little after 6:00 and headed in to check our weight. Half of us were between 0.2 and 0.7 kg overweight still, so we hopped in the sauna for a little while and then waited in long lines for medical checks and weigh ins. By 7:30 we were all done and had started rehydrating.
Then we went to a skydiving club that was about 10 minutes away from the arena. We will spend the next 2 nights here with other wrestlers (it seems as though the tournament has filled up the hotels). There are some rooms with bunk beds as well as a living space with several couches, and room for air mattresses. At 9:00 we went to get dinner. There was a McDonald’s, Burger King and pizzeria to choose from. After dinner we came back and got ready for bed and the tournament tomorrow morning.
Thursday Nov. 1, 2012
This morning we woke up around 8 a.m. and drove to Sundsvall, a town to the south, at 9 a.m. for training. We had our first practice at the Sundsvall wrestling club (SAIK) at 10 a.m. We warmed up with a game of soccer and then some stretching. Then we spent an hour practicing our personal techniques both from our feet and par terre.After practice we checked our weight and headed to lunch at a resturant in a soccer staduim. Most of us ate lightly because we weigh in tomorrow evening, but it was hard to resist the chicken with fried rice, onions and peppers.
After lunch we relaxed at the wrestling club for an hour before our second practice at 2 p.m. We played a more violent version of duck-duck-goose, then spent about 20 minutes pummeling and working techniques. We spent the next 40 minutes or so playing other games to keep a sweat going while still enjoying our last day of training. We finished the practice by using the sauna and checking weight again.Next we headed to a mall in Sundsvall and were able to eat at McDonalds and walk around the stores for a couple hours until 6 p.m. At 6 p.m. we all met up and headed to a hockey arena to see Sweden's professional hockey. The game ended around 9:30, at which point we left for Härnösand.
We all headed to bed quickly as tomorrow morning we have practice and sauna to finish our weight cuts.
Wednesday Oct. 31, 2012
Today we had practice again at 10 a.m. We began with a warmup of floor hockey and races with various starts. Then we got with a partner and drilled techniqe from our feet for 10 minutes. We followed with live pummeling goes for 30 seconds where at the end of the 30 seconds, one partner would hit as many throws as they could in 20 seconds. Each partner did this twice. Then we worked on our offense from par terre for 10 minutes. At the end of practice we split into 2 even teams. Each team would send out a wrestler who would attempt to take down or push out their opponent. The winner of each bout would stay on the mat to confront the next opponent, and would stay in until he lost. After practice we used the sauna in preparation for our weight cut for Friday weigh-ins, then headed to lunch.After lunch instead of having a couple hours of break, we went right into another brief practice at 2 p.m. We warmed up, then drilled technique from our feet for a little over 10 minutes. Then each partner did 3 minutes for top par terre work. Then we split into teams of Americans and Swedes and played a game that was a combination of handball and rugby. It was essentially a brawl with a ball that you were supposed to try and throw into a goal. After practice we used the sauna again and got a massage from a local masseuse.
We had the rest of the day off with dinner at Brännans at 6 p.m.
Tuesday Oct. 30, 2012
We woke up for breakfast around 8 a.m. this morning and prepared for practice at 10:00. We had a 20 minute warmup, followed by an hour of drilling technique on our feet. Then we learned offenses from par terre for 40 minutes. At the end of practice, we did 3-3 (top/bottom) live goes in par terre with 2 different partners.After practice we headed to lunch at fitness club/spa. We ate salad and chicken and potatoes, then quickly went into another workout at the fitness club. We set up 5 stations of different cardio workouts. We spent 2 minutes at each station, then went straight into a stationary bike workout for 30 minutes. Following this workout, we were able to use the spa. The spa had hot tubs, a steam room, sauna, a freezing cold tub with a hot tub right next to it, and showers that would simulate different types of rain.
After relaxing there, we went to Brännans to wait for an hour until dinner. For dinner we ate mashed potatoes and ground beef patties. After dinner, we had the rest of the night off.
Monday Oct. 29, 2012
We started the day with practice at 10 a.m. at Brännans. After warmups we learned and drilled various techniques from the neutral position with one of the Swedish coaches and the USOEC coach, Aghasi. We finished practice with a 3 minute live go.After practice, we used the sauna and got ready for lunch at a local resturant. We had chicken and rice along with assorted salads and rolls with several types of butters and dressings.
We had practice again at 4:30 p.m. We warmed up, then drilled for 10 minutes on our feet. Then we did 3-3, 30-30 par terre (top for 3 minutes, bottom for 3 minutes, top for 30 seconds bottom for 30 seconds). We did this twice with different partners, then finished practice with a 6 minute live match.After practice, we ate dinner at Brännans before retiring for the night.
Sunday Oct. 28, 2012
This morning we packed up from the hotel and moved to a host family's house, where we will be staying for the remainder of the week.For practice at 10:00 we went for a run through part of Härnösand until we were on the outskirts of the town, at which point we turned off the main road to a smaller road that led to the top of a very steep ski slope. When we reached the top we climbed a tower that overlooked the town. It was very beautiful to see the mountains and trees and lakes and rivers in the background of such a quaint little town. Then we ran back to Brännans IF. In total, the run was a little over 8km.
After the run we used the sauna and showers before having brunch. Brunch was salad, rolls, and baked potatoes.After we ate, we took a scenic drive and a ferry to Hemsö island where we toured an old Cold War era fortress that was built into the mountain.
We ate dinner with the Swedish wrestlers at Brännans at 6:00, then had the rest of the evening off.
Saturday Oct. 27, 2012Today we woke up around 8:00 to eat breakfast before our 10:00 workout. Breakfast at the hotel consisted of bacon, hard boiled eggs, fruit, and slices of meat with cheese.
Practice consisted of a 15 minute warm up of soccer with a miniature ball and goals at either end of the 2 wrestling mats. We played Americans vs. Swedes, with the USOEC winning 1-0. Then we paired up with a partner and drilled for 10 minutes in neutral, followed by 2, 3 minute live goes in par terre. We went through this evolution twice, then finished practice with a 6 minute live match.
After practice we ate lunch at a local restaurant, then we toured the Härnösand governor's building.
We had the rest of the day off to recover before dinner at Brännans around 6 p.m.
Friday Oct. 26, 2012
We landed in Stockholm on Friday at 7:30 local time. We met Janne Öhlén who runs Brännans IF (Brännans sports club) and his son at the airport and drove in vans 4 hours north to Härnösand. We checked into our hotel around 12:30 and rested until dinner at 6 p.m. By the time we arrived in Härnösand there was a thin layer of snow on the ground, and the streets were covered in ice. Instead of spreading salt on the roads and sidewalks to melt the snow and ice, they used gravel. Several of us managed to slip regardless.
We ate dinner at the sports club with Janne's family and a few of the Swedish wrestlers. They served chicken and a potato salad, both of which were prepared differently than in the U.S.
After dinner our team explored the town briefly before we finally realized how tired we were from jumping ahead 6 time zones.