Similarly to how people want to become more cultured and diversify themselves, wrestlers are always looking to learn about different styles throughout the wide world of wrestling.
Colin Carr, a junior wrestler for the Gophers, traveled to North Ossetia-Alania in Russia to train with many world championship wrestlers for 16 days. Just above the Caucasus Mountains, Carr and many others learned about different styles and backgrounds of wrestling.
“We went there to train with the Ossetian wrestlers, you can call them Russians, who are essentially like the best wrestlers in the world. There’s a crazy statistic that a ridiculous amount of Olympic medalists come from this area and just the culture there they just live, breath, and eat wrestling all day long.”
Carr was able to make the trip, which he has made before, with his old high school teammate who was training for the world championships. Carr said the difference between wrestling here and wrestling in Russia is in the training.
“The training was a lot different than the way we do it over here. I talked to Coach [Eggum] about it, they focus a lot on getting loose and getting ready for practice. Long warmups a lot of gymnastics, a lot of getting the body just really warmed up and loose. They’re super loose and when they’re ready to go they just explode. Whereas Americans, we tend to focus a lot more on wrestling super hard all the time,” Carr said.
Carr said during the 16-day period, they wrestled five times a week, twice a day. Carr said his end goal was to become a better overall wrestler.
“I think the goal was to come back with better habits. I wasn’t training for anything, it was in the middle of the summer, but I really just wanted to go over there and learn and come back with better habits,” explained Carr. “It is really basic stuff that they drill over, and over again. That was a big goal for me, pick up a few things over there that they do really well and try to implement it over here.”
Off the mat, Carr said this year the group got to experience more than in the past.
“This year we actually stayed in their brand new, state of the art facility. There were dorms, six Olympic wrestling mats, saunas, cold tubs, so that was pretty cool. I always tell people that the food there is super, super good,” Carr explained. “We went to a couple parks, walked around, saw some historical statues, learned some history, went to the hottest sauna of my life, it was 250 degrees Fahrenheit, Coach Becker would have loved it.”
Carr said that when the world championships came up, he had an interesting dilemma on who to root for. One of the most notable wrestlers Carr trained with was Aslanbek Alborov of Azerbaijan who took bronze in 97 kilograms.
Since Carr has returned, he says he is excited to implement what he learned from his time in Russia.
“I’m excited to compete, wherever I’m competing, whether that is in the starting lineup or around open terms. I’m just ready to use some of those things I picked up in Russia and see how they work in actual competitions.”
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