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?
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?
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!!