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One Road Leads to Rome

1956 Gold Medalist Hal Connolly

1956 Gold Medalist Hal Connolly

I am lucky enough to have been coached by two Olympic medalists throughout my career: Harold “Hal” Connolly (’56) and Anatoli Bondarchuk (’72).  It is interesting to see how many similarities they have in their approach to the sport despite their differences in upbringing (Boston vs. the Soviet Union).  First, they are both very resourceful.  I have seen Hal at work in his shop developing various makeshift implements to throw onto astroturf fields.  Dr. B is well known within our training group for jerry-rigging hammers.  If we only have a 6-kilogram hammer and he needs a 6.5-kiogram hammer, he’ll just strap on enough bolts and washers for it to be the desired weight.  If we run out of handles, he’ll find some scrap metal and weld his own.  His solution isn’t always the safest (I’ve often been thrown to the ground as my hammer breaks), but it allows us to continue with training.
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Merry Christmas

I just returned to Seattle for the holidays and was greeted by an unusual site in Seattle: a foot of fresh snow.  Training in the snow is one of my favorites parts of the season.  The air is always quite and cool and I feel very relaxed.  But then again, walking around in ice and snow with shoes that have absolutely no traction can get tiresome quickly.  My training has come together a lot in the past few weeks.  The step back I took in November has been translating into continued progress recently.  Coach B told me on Friday that my general strength and fitness level are both great right now, creating collateral improvements in my throw.  Unfortunately, I cannot update you on my training distances since the winter weather in Kamloops and Seattle has kept me throwing inside against a wall (temperatures have consistently been hovering between 0º and -10º Fahrenheit).  I’ll be posting some distances once the snow melts.
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