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Q&A With Olympian Jim Gruenwald



Jim Gruenwald Age 30 College: Marantha Baptist Bible College Age started wrestling: Age 11 What international experience do you have that has prepared you for this event? 4 Olympic qualifiers and the Poddoubny tournament in Russia. How was your trip/tournament in Poddoubny? What did you learn from it? It went well other than losing. I have to get my lock faster on top, and I also must be patient early in a match. Before a big match, what do you tell yourself to mentally reassure yourself that you're ready? I focus on God. When I keep the perspective that all of life, including wrestling, is in his hands, life and wrestling take their proper place. Who has been the biggest influence on you during your wrestling career? Why? I would say Jesus Christ. As a man, he is the toughest person in the history of mankind. As God, he has provided me with opponents, friends, family, finances, support, and coaches that influence me in the direction he would have me go. Some in small ways and some in large. These are a few of the many people who have helped: My mother: hard work My father: Win or lose, I have unconditional support and love with only one requirement--Do your best! Anatoly Petrosyan: Position and a 2 on 1 Steve Fraser: toughness Andy Seras: refined my technique Ben Peterson: a mission that wrestling is more than a sport, for it is a ministry of god. Art Martouri: Sunkist Kids Hilltop Baptist Church & School: A good spiritual environment and a flexible job. How are preparations going for the Olympics? Are you doing anything different? Does this meet have a different feel about it? Preparations are going well. I am trying to do the same as I did for the trials but better. There is definitely more hype involved with the Olympics. What was the reaction back in your hometown? Have you been hearing from old friends? A few. Milwaukee seemed excited considering the press that I and others received. The Franklin Senior Citizens Group in Milwaukee, WI. are incredibly supportive. What has wrestling taught you? How do you view the sport? Wrestling has taught me a lot, but what comes to mind initially is wisdom with toughness. I view the sport as an opportunity to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What do you think of the coaching staff assembled for the Olympics? That they will do exactly what is needed to get the job done at the Olympics. Although, I would have liked Andy Seras to be part of the coaching staff; however, I'm partial considering he helped me make the team.
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