U.S. freestyle wrestler Jake Herbert is the team's resident jokester and could barely keep a straight face during a press conference on Saturday. But when asked how he flips the switch just before a match, he gave great insight into the mental approach of athletes competing in one of the world's roughest sports.
"You start to look at that guy across the mat and you start to think of what he's trying to take away from you (and think) 'He didn't work as hard as me. I know for a fact he wasn't up at 6 a.m., he wasn't hitting the bike until he puked. He wasn't hitting the weights as hard as me. He wasn't as dedicated as I am. He doesn't want it as much as I do.' And it starts that excitement. It starts getting my blood pressure going. It starts getting the hairs standing on the back of my neck."
Upon hearing Herbert's rant, teammate Sam Hazewinkel responded "I ready to go, man. Whew!"
Herbert and Hazewinkel will have to calm down though. The freestyle wrestling competition doesn't start until Aug. 10.
—Luke Meredith — Twitter http://twitter.com/LukeMeredithAP
EDITOR'S NOTE — "Eyes on London" shows you the Olympics through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across the 2012 Olympic city and around the world. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item, and get even more AP updates from the Games here: http://twitter.com/AP_Sports