Friday, 15 February 2013

The Fight - a guest-post by Kelsey Andries...

Classical realists opine that war is inevitable.  Liberals argue that war can be eliminated through effective institutions and democratic peace.  Radicals feel the only way war can be eliminated is through revolution, while constructivists argue that if we can change our process of socialization, we can find peace.  The International Olympic Committee have a different plan...

At a time in our history when the world is so full of war and strife, Iran, Russia, and the United States certainly make strange bedfellows.  This most unique of alliances has come about because of the IOC’s innovative and inspired peace-making decision to exclude wrestling from the Olympics starting in 2020.  

However, there is a group of folk out there that don’t see the bigger picture.  They just don’t get it.  Wrestlers.  Wrestling fans.  Seriously?  Yeh - I had no idea either.  I didn’t know that such a person existed.

But - in this new spirit of cooperation and collaboration - I have decided to offer up today’s post to one of these ‘wrestling people’.  Don’t anybody ever say that I didn’t do my part for world peace...

The Fight - a guest-post by Kelsey Andries

The IOC decided on Tuesday that Wrestling is going to be dropped from the Olympics in 2020. The criteria used for the decision included T.V. ratings, ticket sales, anti-doping policies and global participation and popularly. 

Really? You voted out….wrestling. THE sport that has been in the modern Olympic games since 1896. THE sport that dates back to the original Olympic Games in 776 BC. THE sport we see pictured on 15 000 year old cave drawings. THE sport that everyone tried in high school (wrestlers will get that joke).  And THE sport that your kids naturally do on the sidelines with one another when you are trying to teach them any other sport. 

I was never a great wrestler. I was recruited after a short but sweet career as a field hockey athlete because I was big, strong, tough and available. My university team needed a body to fill their 72kg weight class and I was it. 

After a crash course in basic technique and strategy, I immersed myself into a world of spandex singlets, cauliflower ear and mats with the lingering smell of bleach. A world where no athlete had a clearly defined neck, or any shoulder ligaments left or knew the meaning of the word “quit”.  And I fell in love. 

I fell in love with the rawness of wrestling. I fell in love with the idea of two athletes pitting their minds and bodies literally against one another. A chess match with tangible consequences. I fell in love with the concept of relaxing in order to explode. With pushing and pulling. With speed. With power. With victory and with failure.  With fighting for something you really want.

Wrestling, just like running, swimming, diving, jumping and sliding is at the core of our mammalian anatomy. We just know how to do them. Our children wrestle without ever being taught how. Animals wrestle for survival, to exert dominance and for fun. My friends outside the bar at 3am wrestle…probably for the same reasons.  

So it is no wonder that athletics, gymnastics, swimming and wrestling were all included the first modern Olympic games in 1896.  

You just can’t take it out.

As I try to navigate how this all makes me feel, I keep coming back to one word. Fight. It just makes me want to fight.

It makes me want to fight for the sport that taught me how to physically push myself harder than I have ever pushed myself before.

It makes me want to fight for the sport where I met some of my greatest friends, including my husband.

It makes me want to fight for the sport that developed the drive that has carried me through my career. 

I owe so much to this sport. I just cannot sit around and see it disappear from the Olympics. 

The thing about wrestlers is that they like a good fight. But they will need our help to win this one. Talk to your family, your friends and your co-workers about the IOC’s decision.  Join the Save Olympic Wrestling Campaign on Facebook and Twitter to show your support and to see what you can do to help these athletes in their fight to save their Olympic dream as well as the dreams of all the future Olympians.

And in a week, when this story starts to fade from the media, continue to talk, continue to post and continue to fight. 

Kelsey Andries is a pretty sharp chick.  Years ago she came through our Strength and Conditioning Practicum course at the University of Calgary, and we had high hopes for her.  Her enthusiasm, creativity, and intelligence fast-tracked her into working with our National Teams, where athletes and coaches fell in love with her.  Apparently, though, she wanted a little more.  Not content in a limited influence into the lives of a group of already high-performers, she instead decided her potential lay elsewhere - somewhere where she could help more people make a more meaningful change in their lives.  Along with her husband, she opened up a training facility, and now is one of the most successful trainers in Alberta, helping hundreds of folk realize their own potentials. She still keeps her feet a little wet in the sport scene, currently helping out a number of local athletes as well as one of Canada’s greatest ever athletes, Summer and Winter Olympian - and four-time Olympic medallist (3 Golds) Hayley Wickenheiser


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