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Q&A With Olympian Cary Kolat



Cary Kolat Age: 27 Age started wrestling: 5 College: Penn State/Lock Haven What's your goal going into the Olympics? I have one goal…the Gold Medal, and that's it. What international experience do you have that has prepared you for this event? Looking back, all of my international experience has been very valuable for this Olympics. Of course, I have learned from the Worlds, the Pan Am's, World Cup's. I have been every where but the top in terms of World competitions, and I plan on changing that this time around. After winning the Olympic trials, what would you say you learned the most from a competition/technical standpoint? From a mental standpoint? Actually, I would say I learned more from the '99 World trials. I dropped my first match to Bill Zadick and had to win my next two in a row to make the team. So from that standpoint, I knew going in that I had to really keep up the intensity against him. From a mental standpoint, I am telling myself that I have been everywhere but on the top of the podium and now is the time to change that. Before a big match, what do you tell yourself to mentally reassure yourself that you're ready? I am not convincing myself, because I know for sure that I have all the tools. I know that I have committed myself to the training and being the best in the World. I know I am worthy of being an Olympic Champion. The reassurance will come in the form of a Gold Medal. Who has been the biggest influence on you during your wrestling career? Why? I would have to say my father (Joe). He has definitely taught everything about wrestling and life that I need to be successful. The way he approaches and views the sport is really a positive influence on me. I also want to point out that god is always in my heart and he teaches me to stay humble in my accomplishments. How are preparations going for the Olympics? Are you doing anything different? Does this meet have a different feel about it? It has been a real good training camp. The preparations over all are going great. The set up of camp and the whole goal and process of camp went really well. I'm not really doing anything different overall in terms of preparation, other than I am doing it harder. The way I see it, I didn't win the world title so I do everything harder than before. This meet, being that it is the Olympics is really different. Wrestling fans know that the worlds are the same from a competition standpoint. But the emphasis on the games is huge. The media and the PR are tremendous. What was the reaction back in your hometown? Have you been hearing from old friends? It has been great. I am from a really small town in Pennsylvania. Every one is really excited and looking forward to my competing. I have been getting a lot of calls and e-mails. The community has had fundraising parties for me and my family, which is extremely helpful. What has wrestling taught you? How do you view the sport? I would say that wrestling has taught me to handle pressure. Whether it is in life or in competition, I know I can perform well under pressure to get the job done. I really think we can never do enough as a wrestling community to promote the sport. What do you think of the coaching staff assembled for the Olympics? I think the staff is great. Every one of them has been here before and we can only learn in the type of environment that they have set up for us. What role does your family have in preparing you or supporting you as an athlete chasing your goals of being an Olympic Champion? Overall they help me tremendously with emotional support. My mom Judie and my wife Erin are always there for me and understand the mental hardships of wrestling. They also keep me at ease with my wrestling and help me focus on other aspects of my life other than wrestling. It's great to have them in my corner.
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