by Dave Delgado
Guam - Local female wrestler Maria Dunn is back representing Guam at the Olympic Games. Dunn has been training off island for almost a year and is excited to get a second shot at putting the island on the map in the sport. Maria is confident that this time around she will have a better showing because of her international experience.
She told KUAM Sports, "I came here first in September after the World Championships in Turkey and then I stayed here for a couple of months up until January. In that time I was getting settled into the camp and where I would be staying for almost a year and I did a couple of competitions. I did the Olympic test event and trained once to twice a day, so it wasn't as intense as it was now but I was basically training for the Oceania Championships. I flew back to Guam in January and prepared for maybe 2 or 3 weeks for Oceania's. And then won Oceania's and got my ticket paid for to go to Morocco which was the African Oceania Qualifier."
Since her time away Maria has been experiencing what international competition is like on a daily basis. She says the biggest difference in the training is the time dedicated to her by her coach and the numerous training partners she has along with the amount of competitions that take place overseas.
She added, "I have a coach that is dedicated to my daily needs basically. So I have somebody that is dedicated to just train myself in the morning, afternoon and in the night and to arrange training on the meet like on the weekends. And then also I do have more partners, not that many females out here to wrestle but so many male partners that I have to select from all different weights and all different levels. The level may be a little higher because they are closer to international competitions because of Europe and things like that. In Guam there are good partners but the level is the same and because everybody works, sports is not really a priority because everybody does work you don't really get a coach that can dedicate that much time to you and your training program."