Experiences of a LAW wrestler at the 2014 Gay Games in Cleveland, Ohio.
Mike trains regularly at LAW and this year, for the first time, decided to travel to Cleveland, Ohio to take part in the 2014 Gay Games. This is his report:
Back in March 2014 I met Gene Dermody in New York. I’ve known Gene for some time, and over dinner he said I should do the gay games. At this point I had only done our club tournaments, but when Gene says you can do something you’ve got to give it a go!
In addition to working with LAW twice a week I fitted in as much serious coaching and sparring as I could. When I finally got to Cleveland and walked into the hall for the first time it was “what the **** have I done??” But even from the opening ceremony I knew that there would be support all round so soon I was thinking “I can do this!”
I saw the wrestling at the London Olympics and all I can say that the standard amongst the younger guys was not far off that. Wrestling as a “veteran” I was paired with guys of my age, but I still lost all my matches. The freestyle bouts were short and not very pretty but I was much more of a contender in the grappling. They say that when you lose you learn; so I have new goals to work on. The tournament was well organised, the camaraderie was incredible and the whole event was inspirational.
I appreciate the training and practice I receive at LAW, a truly inclusive club. If I make a list of guys to thank I’m bound to miss someone out. So instead, I will simply say a huge thank you to everyone who helped me get there, and to all those who made me believe I could do it.