One Busy Guy
Chula Vista resident-athlete Guy Krueger chats about three majors in a month
By Melissa Fletcher // USOC Chula Vista // Sept. 1, 2003
From mid-July to mid-August, Guy Krueger, a resident athlete at the U.S. Olympic Training Center - Chula Vista, was a busy guy.
Krueger, a standout archer, started out at the World Championships in New York City, then competed in the U.S. Nationals in Pennsylvania and finished up at the Pan American Games in the Dominican Republic.
“I love the butterflies, the competition, everything,” he said. “Archery gives me the opportunity to travel around the world and support myself.”
Krueger prepared himself for such a rigorous competition at the OTC. In an average day, Krueger shoots 200-350 arrows. He trains six days a week and takes Sundays off. During the off-season, he lifts weights and runs in the mornings three days each week.
“A lot of people practice, but not many people train,” he said. “You have to have a specific plan and know what you’re doing before you even step out there each day. I keep records and write down every arrow that I shoot. I track all the scores and plot them on graphs. One of the most important things is to know what your averages are and it gives you a chance to evaluate your progress. I think keeping track of everything has been the difference in this year and last year for me.”
And another major difference continues to be the convenience and competition given to a resident athlete at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center. Krueger, who began training at the Center in the summer of 2002, doesn’t have to travel to train and there’s always a top-notch archers to test his ability.
“It gives me the chance to see how motivated I really am and how dedicated I am in getting out there every day,” he said. “There are a lot of days when I don’t want to be out there, when my body aches, my fingers hurt or I’m mentally exhausted. But I just keep doing it and I love it!”
The hard work is starting to pay off. Krueger won individual silver and team gold medals at the Pan American Games and finished third at the National Championships. At World Championships, he just missed the Olympic Round competition by two points.
Three Majors in a Month … One Guy’s Journal
While at World and National Championships and the Pan American Games, Krueger kept a journal about his performance and his feelings about the competition. The following are excerpts from his travels, in his own words.
World Championships, New York City, July 15-20
July 11 ... “Leaving for New York. I feel very excited but most of all I am thinking, ‘I can do my best.’ After all the training I’ve done, I know what my best is and I’m ready for World Championships. I’m also looking forward to having FUN! We’ll see how it goes ... ”
July 13 ... “Today, I shot a little more than usual. Practice went well but it was windy. I am looking forward to the ranking round, but I am beginning to feel a little nervous. This is ok though because if I wasn’t nervous, I think there would be a problem! I know if I stick to my mental program, I’ll do well. That will be the key to success for me.”
July 14 ... “My TV appearance was very fun. We shot off the top of a Ford Explorer taxi and shot an apple off a topiary giraffe. We also did a photo shoot in the middle of Times Square.”
July 16 ... “I shot my personal record at the last two distances and one of the highest short halves. Unfortunately, I was two points shy of the 64th cut. I’m really having mixed feelings about it. I shot well today, but I have no chance to compete for the gold. It’s very disappointing.”
July 18 ... “Today was the team round. I was feeling good but nervous. We must finish in the top eight to acquire our third Olympic position. Our first match against China was close. With one end left, we were down by one point. However, we came back winning by three points with a 244. We were excited because we were in the top eight! Our next match against Italy was tough. After 18 arrows, we were down by six with only nine left. We rallied back to almost win (I shot a 29), but we lost by just two points. We finished fifth.”
National Championships, Redding, Pa., July 28-August 1
July 21 ... “I just returned this afternoon from Worlds, and I’ve already trained. I have some things I would like to improve, but with only five days to do it.”
July 29 ... “We just finished the first FITA at Nationals. I did well shooting a 1301, but I easily gave up 25 points on this FITA. I will need to do much better the next two days.”
July 31 ... “We completed the second FITA today. I moved from fifth to third on the long half. It was really windy, and I did well but I managed to lose a few points from first and second. On the short half, I shot my personal best of 338 at 50m. It was an awesome feeling. It felt like the string went right through my fingers and over half my arrows hit dead center. I finished this FITA with a 1300! I was one of three people to shoot both FITAs over 1300, and I had to finish my last nine arrows with perfect scores in order to do it.”
Pan American Games, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, August 1-16
August 13 ... “We finished the qualifications round today, and I moved up to second place. I shot the highest 50m out of everyone. It’s kind of strange because 50m used to be my bad distance but now it’s my good distance. 30m was tough though. The wind was strong and constantly changing. I did my best though. My muscles are still hurting so I think I will find a trainer to do some ‘active release therapy’ on me. On another note, I shot my third 1300 in a row! We have tomorrow off, so I think I’ll rest.”
August 15 ... “Today we have the finals. My muscles have been feeling good since the ‘ART’ session. I think I’ll do well today… Well, I did really well today. I won the silver shooting 164, 106, 108, 106. The scores should have been higher, but in two matches it was raining and windy. The other competitors were lucky though and had no rain during their matches. The best thing about today wasn’t the medal. It was the fact that for the first time in my life, I was able to shoot my shots confidently and execute them just like practice. I made a BIG step today and that will certainly pave the way for my future. Tomorrow is the team round. I hope we do well because I’m not settling for silver again. I’m gonna light it up tomorrow!
August 16 ... “Today went great! I started off in the finals with a 29 out of 30! I was so pumped. In the entire finals, I only had one arrow out of the gold. And we won the gold medal, which is good because I wasn’t settling for anything else. Now I’m just relieved to be done. Finally, I can take some time off, let my muscles recover and review the past year.”
As Krueger reflects on the year and gets ready for the Olympic Trials at the end of May 2004, his results at these three major competitions have given him an edge.
“I was able to test different focus points to see which ones worked best under high pressure and stress,” he said. “At the same time, though, it was very physically and mentally demanding.”
Krueger learned a lot about himself.
“Winning these medals definitely taught me what I’m capable of,” he said. “At the same time, no matter how well you do, someone else is always there to one up you. Over the next year, I’m going to do whatever I can to keep anyone else from being able to do that.
“This gives me a lot of confidence for next year,” he said. “I hope I can bring back a gold medal.”
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