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Q&A With Olympian Charles Burton



Charles Burton Age: 26 Age started wrestling: 10 College: Boise State What's your goal going into the Olympics? I want to win the Gold medal. I need to control the tie-ups and also control the center of the mat, as well as make conditioning a factor. Americans are known for good conditioning, so I definitely want to push my opponents physically. What international experience do you have that has prepared you for this event? The Pan Am's in '92, the Takhti Cup in Iran which I was the champ, and the Dan Kolav tournament which I placed second. I have traveled all over the world through the years and I am approaching the Olympics like any other tournament. I expect to win. After winning the Olympic trials, what would you say you learned the most from a competition/technical standpoint? From a mental standpoint? From the technical side of things, again, I want to make conditioning a factor. I will work hard to score early and keep pushing. At the trials, I lost my first match, but won my second. I know the loner a tournament gets, the stronger I become. Before a big match, what do you tell yourself to mentally reassure yourself that you're ready? I tell myself that I KNOW I am ready. I focus on a game plan technically and mentally. I usually think about controlling the tie, and leg laces. I think of using heavy hands throughout the match. Who has been the biggest influence on you during your wrestling career? Why? Mike Davies, the assistant coach at Boise State. He has always been there and believed in me when not many people did. He got me into freestyle. He basically gave me a reason to believe in myself and I thank him for that. We still talk all the time. He helps me technically with analyzing my scout tapes. How are preparations going for the Olympics? Are you doing anything different? Does this meet have a different feel about it? They are going great overall. I am focusing on my conditioning right now with the technical refining coming later. I am not quite there yet, but I will be. It will be a different wrestler when I do get there. I am focusing on the task at hand. What was the reaction back in your hometown? Have you been hearing from old friends? My hometown of Boise, Idaho has been very supportive. I have gotten several e-mails and letters to my website (www.charlesburtonwrestling-homepage.com) What has wrestling taught you? How do you view the sport? Wrestling is the reason I work hard and believe in dreams. It is the ultimate form of discipline and desire. I view wrestling in one way, a lifestyle. What do you think of the coaching staff assembled for the Olympics? I have taken bits and pieces from all of the coaches. It truly is a great staff. Combined in this training camp is so much knowledge. They are a great representation of the United States. What role does your family have in preparing you or supporting you as an athlete chasing your goals of being an Olympic Champion? They are all very supportive. From my parents, to my fiancée and her parents. They are all sharing in my dream and will be in the stands in Sydney.
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