Episode 13 of the Five Point Move Podcast goes big from start to finish. Multiple-time US National Team member Joe Rau (87 kg, Minnesota Storm) fills in for regular co-host Dennis Hall and provides an update on his recovery from knee surgery and when he plans to compete next. After that, it’s a runaway train of topics ranging from the upcoming Senior schedule, the names of some of Rau’s iTunes playlists, why the All-Marine Team is coming up so fast, and of course, tons of general Greco talk.
Speaking of the Marines, the first guest for Episode 13 is 2017 Dave Schultz Memorial gold medalist/US National Team member John Stefanowicz (82 kg), who when this was recorded, was busy participating in the joint training camp with Serbia in Boise prior to this past Sunday’s dual meet. Stefanowicz shares what the training looked like under famed coach Ivan Ivanov, what he thought about Marine teammate Peyton Walsh‘s controversial bout in Croatia, and the bonding that comes along with spending time with his fellow Senior athletes.
Guest #2 is another name familiar to US Greco-Roman fans — RaVaughn Perkins (72 kg, NYAC). Like Stefanowicz, Perkins was also in Boise last week for training camp, but rather than keep talking about that, the conversation delved into an altogether different direction. Given Rau’s relationship with Perkins, the Storm wrestler took the lead on this one the entire time, with both athletes discussing dealing with devastating loss on and off the mat, how to bounce back from it, and what being a role model in this current era of the sport entails.
A Few Highlights
Rau on the progress with his recovery from a second knee surgery in two years
“Worlds isn’t until October and I have a lot more time. I got the surgery in (the) summer, you know, right after freestyle Trials. So it was kind of placed better and I had much more time and there wasn’t anything important that I have to get to. So time, and probably a lot more effort. I’m probably 40 pounds lighter than I was for the first knee surgery and that definitely has a lot to do with recovery. A lot of my habits and my discipline changed, too, and that has definitely helped.”
Stefanowicz on the coolness of the USA/Serbia dual meet
“It is pretty cool being out here, when it’s the US National Team and everything else like that, I guess that spotlight kind of sets a precedence. I kind of use that as another reason to push a little harder, to be honest, now that the spotlight is there. Now that’s something else we talked about before, I don’t like the spotlight with a million people going off and talking about this and that, I like to focus and see, and having us here, it’s an opportunity for everybody. Now the weight of that is being put on my shoulders and I can carry it.”
Perkins on his near-miss qualifying for the Olympics in 2016
“I don’t think I am going to get over it. That was the worst feeling in my career, making it that far and not wrestling in the Olympics. I tell people all the time, 2014, yes I won Trials, but I still got in that trouble where I couldn’t compete in the World Championships. So to me, I still haven’t made a World or Olympic Team and it hurts me to know that I won those Trials and haven’t been on that big stage. But I think all of that stuff is going to continue to hurt everyday, but at the same time, I’m pushing, I’m pushing, knowing that once I get to that big stage, once I get that medal, all that stuff is going to be pushed behind me.”