RobotWorx: In September, you finished fifth at the World Wrestling Championships. Tell us some about your experience in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Rowlands: The experience in Baku was great, and laid a great foundation for what I want to achieve at the Olympic Games. I know the technical areas that I need to improve on, and gained experience that can only be obtained through actually experiencing it. I am very motivated for this Olympic year.
RobotWorx: You've had a lot of opportunities to travel for competitions recently. What has been your most interesting international experience? Rowlands:
Right now, I am in Krasnoyarsk, Russia for the Ivan Yariguin Memorial Tournament. Krasnoyarsk is in the middle of Siberia, which is a five hour flight due east of Moscow. It is by far the most rigorous travel I have ever been through, including a 12 hour time difference from Ohio
, the toughest time adjustment you can possibly have.
This tournament is probably the toughest tournament in the world other than the world championships. It is my 4th time here. I have placed, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th in the event each time I have competed here. I would say that this is one of the more unique international trips I have taken. This is also my eighth trip to Russia.
RobotWorx: At this point, who would you say are your major competitors? Rowlands:
My major competitors are...EVERYONE. It is important to prepare and be ready to compete the same way every time. This is not an easy task, but I try to put myself in the right frame of mind every time I step on the mat.
RobotWorx: What are you focusing on as you train for the Olympic trials in June?
Rowlands: As I get ready for the Olympic Trials, I am focusing on training harder than anyone in the world, and improving on the technical areas that can help make me an Olympic Champion.”
RobotWorx: How optimistic are you about the upcoming Olympics?
Rowlands: I can see the summit, but it takes a lofty price to achieve a lofty goal. Still much work to be done!!