Wash-Up and Post-Competition | Rob's Blog
Published 22 August 2016 (AEDT) | Author Rob Katz
Rob Katz - Father to Josh and Nathan Katz (judo)
15th August: With Judo over, there was lots to see with semi-finals of women's diving at Maria Lenk including a couple of Aussies doing well (our first time at a diving competition), two great basketball matches (Lithuania vs Nigeria surprisingly close, and Australia vs Venezuela), two volleyball matches, and two weightlifting sessions including a world record by Iran - awesome!
16th August: Another top (but very hot) day in Rio, this time at the athletics - with so many highlights: Dani Samuels just missing Bronze in discus and Perkowic CRO winning on the basis of a single throw (fouling 5 of 6) to defend her London title by 2.5m; the crashing of 2 athletes and amazing sportsmanship shown between the USA and NZL athletes in the women's 5000m, both bowing out of medals but determined to cross the line....and then there were the 200m heats with Blake and the great Bolt, just gliding along the track to qualify in 20.28 without stress.
17th August: Another tough day at the office, A long walk including two massive over-road ramps to Rio Centro certainly woke my knees up this morning but were well rewarded with a huge surprise of entertainment in none other than table tennis: what amazing skill, reflexes and athleticism! The bronze medal teams event featured Germany against Korea and it went down to the wire with Germany taking the well-deserved medal. Unbelievable - We'd watch TT again at this level in a heartbeat.
Three solid hours and I didn't move, except my jaw dropping to the floor every now and then and yelling encouragement (for Germany). A decent walk back to Barra Olympic Park and a pizza and Spag Bol in a local hovel followed by European Handball in Future Arena featuring Denmark outclassing Slovenia in a very physical match.
Finally caught up with #TeamKatz: Nathan Katz and Josh Katz with adopted pommie son Ashley Isaac McKenzie for a magnificent Brazilian BBQ dinner at Fogo De Chao in Barra. So much meat, so much protein to balance out the 14000 or so steps today according to Kerrye's Fitbit - think I'd rather not have known.
18th August: We are yet to sight-see properly and have Copacabana, Ipanema, Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain on our list. The boys are making the best of post-competition celebrations catching up with many Judo friends from other countries as well as meeting new athletes from all over the world. They are also getting to support the Aussies at competitions and see some great finals like Usain’s 200 last night and sadly Australia’s loss in the Basketball against Serbia tonight.
What a life! So for us the 7 hours of athletics yesterday was diverse, exciting and always controversial. I never knew they collect the discusses (or is that discii?) with remote electric cars, that they return the thrown shots in the shot-put via a ten-pin bowling-like track or that the athletes measure out their starting distance for the baton exchange in the relay by measuring out their footsteps in a ritual that looks pretty funny.
We came home and ate in a diner next door where they set up tables in the carpark and each night have a different singer/guitarist. Last night the female vocalist sang Eagles to Hall and Oats to Led Zeppelin. Tonight we had a male singer who did Pink Floyd, the Doors and everything in between. The tables are full of locals and visitors – they all drink tons of beer, laugh a lot and are generally loud – what a blast.
The boys have loved the post-competition activities and will remember this forever. They even did a bit of gym today and are already thinking about the next stage of their training and competition schedule, which will be worked through over the next few weeks.
Exciting times ahead as we post-mortem their matches, work out what technical aspects need to be addressed in what priority, work out the competition schedule and work back from that to determine the training regime – and so we go round and do it all again.
20th August: A recovery day with a great lunch at the Fogo De Chao Brazilian BBQ with our boys, again another week’s worth of protein eaten in a day. The boys have been enjoying various events, Basketball last night with Australia not quite getting into the game with Serbia, Weightlifting, Handball, BMX, and others.
Tomorrow is the final day with finals of Wrestling to look forward to. The next day our boys will move out of the village with us in our apartment and we will have some quality family time for a few days in Rio before we say goodbye to Brazil and hello to Miami for more holiday time.
It’s been an amazing experience for us as very proud parents and very satisfied coaches. Our boys will always remember these Games, the preparation: many months spent overseas, countless hours on the mat and in the gym, the village: the camaraderie not just within the Judo Team but also with the other Combat Sport athletes and the whole Aussie Team, as well as catching up with their Judo friends from all around the world; and of course their competition: the feeling of being on that stage and being able to focus for their matches and perform to their best on their day.
Emotions are always high for us when we see or coach our boys at major events, but none higher than at these Games and together with the excitement and anticipation that the next 4 years will bring, we very much look forward to the next Olympic cycle and hope to see everyone back with us in Tokyo 2020, hopefully with more representation from our Budokan Judo Club, our other "family".