Post Olympic Write Up

Friends, Family, Fans,

I wanted to send an update on my thoughts and feelings following the 2012 Olympics. This is a little delayed coming and very long, as it has taken me a little while to process everything, combined with a busy schedule getting caught up with the rest of my life. I definitely feel like I owe everyone something in return for all the support I've received over the last few years. 

I guess the most important thing I wanted to convey is the feeling of gratitude that I have. I am very thankful for all the people that have helped me. My coaches, specifically Dave McKay who spent as much time or more away from his family for us athletes, the Canadian Olympic Committee, Canada Amateur Wrestling and others have made my Olympic journey possible. I feel blessed and humbled to have had the opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games for Canada, and hundreds if not thousands of people put me in a position where I had the best chance of winning. I am lucky to have had so much support and I don't forget it. 

Down to the competition itself. It has been 15 days and I'm sure I will be thinking about August 10th forever, just like I still dream about Beijing. I was 16-1 in international tournaments in 2012 leading up to the Olympics, beating some very accomplished wrestlers and winning my final 3 international tournaments prior to London. I say this because for me, this was far and away my best international season and I credit that change in performance to my mental state of mind. I overcame a lot of mental hurdles to compete my best this year. I took that momentum into London I am very happy with how I prepared physically and mentally, and I think I peaked and competed extremely well. I finished 5th, and I know that 5th at the Olympics is very impressive. I have been getting multitudes of congratulations and it is much better than my first Olympics. 

However, I didn't go to London to finish 5th. I wanted to bring back a medal for Canada and it is disappointing not to achieve my goal. It hurts, and it hurts worse because I believed, deep down to my core, that I could do it. To be so close to such a big dream and then fall one match short is hard. I am proud, and I do hold my head up, especially with how I prepared and the journey I took preparing, but at the same time I wanted to win badly and in the end I didn't. It is a mixed bag emotionally because I am happy with how I competed, yet disappointed with my finish.

I was asked a few times if I would have added pressure since this was the end of my career and potentially my last major competition. To that the answer is no. In fact, the end of my competitive career in sight actually allowed me to step back and realize how much I love what I do, and how much I am going to miss it. I love wrestling and I love competing, but I especially love the personal challenge and growth that came with pushing myself beyond what I thought was possible. Wrestling is a personal test, it is one person against another, and although the physical factors like technique, strength, stamina, speed play a huge role in success, at the Olympic level so does the mental aspect. Pushing myself to be world class, and to be world class in something is a pretty cool thing. I'm not sure if I will be done, more than likely yes I am finished but I may compete a couple more times depending on what my wife and I decide is best for us. As for what I will be doing, I'm not exactly sure whether I will be back coaching or going back to school. In the near term at least I will be helping out around town with a local club and doing a bit of studying. 

Finally I want to thank those that have sacrificed the most for me. My wife especially has had to deal with me being gone 3 weeks out of a month on the road to follow my dream. Without her support back home, I would not have had this opportunity. Thank you to my family who supported me since I started wrestling at age 6, this has been a lifetime commitment for them as well. However with this support does come something special. The Olympics was a chance for everyone to come together, and for nearly 30 people to travel and share my experiences with me in london is something that I value greatly. 

I've always liked this quote because It kind of sums up how I feel after failing to achieve my goal so I'll end with this:
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." 
― Theodore Roosevelt

Sorry so long!
Best,
Matt

 

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    Matt, you don't know me from Adam, but far better to have tried than not. You would forever have kicked yourself for not. So stay proud.

    I remember you winning the NCAA's back in 2004.

    -Scott Rosenberg, Ft. Lee, NJ

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