Open Letter to the Gadson Strong Family!

Image courtesy of ESPN IMAGES

I am taking this time to announce that I will be training as a 2016 Olympic Hopeful at 97 kilos. Now, some people may ask why and I will tell you why. Growing up, when I wrote down my goals I'm pretty sure I skipped right to Olympic champion. That was and still is the pinnacle of wrestling. I will always remember seeing a poster of 1992 Olympic gold medalist Kevin Jackson on my brother's door. KJ looked like a "BAD MAN" in his USA gear and the gold medal. At that time, I didn't know I would wrestle for him when I grew up. As a child, I read books and heard stories about Jesse Owens, Wilma Rudolph, the 1992 Dream Team; and I even watched Michael Johnson in 2000 at Sydney tear across the track. At a tender 8 years old, I knew that I wanted to become an Olympic champ. And besides, freestyle is just so much fun compared to some other styles! Haha.

Just the other day, I was watching a home video of me and my dad having our first practice on December 31, 1998. I was six and a half at that time. I wasn't a very seasoned wrestler nor did I listen very well, as my dad commented during the video as he showed me a standup on our living room carpet. However, at the end of the video my dad proudly says, "That's Kyven's first lesson baby. …We have a long ways to go, but we'll get there buddy!" (Willie Gadson)

Some people might ask, "Well, wasn't the NCAA Championship getting 'there'?" And for some people, the answer would be, yes. The NCAA title was definitely a form of getting "there." I am very proud of the way it ended. But, as I stated earlier, the dream has always been to become an Olympic champion. I attribute my thoughts of being finished in March to just plain exhaustion. After the NCAA Championship, I was very tired! Throughout my life I have dealt with adversity and setbacks, but I have learned to overcome them with my faith as my foundation and Jesus Christ as the cornerstone of my life! God has blessed me with talent, skills, and semi-good genetics (thanks Mom and Dad) :), as well as a mind to serve the Lord in all that I do and much much more.

Ultimately, I am going to do this because this is something that I want for me, not because of outside pressure or anything like that. As I was contemplating the reasons to live out this Dream, I came to three very important why's:

1. To give Glory to God
2. I want to be the best in the World and you do that by becoming an Olympic Champion!
3. I want to KNOW! To be the BEST, what else is there??

I don't want to live with regret or have the thoughts in the back of my mind that I could've, I should've, or I would've…down the road. Therefore, the only way to not have those thoughts is to become a "Dream Catcher" sponsored by the Cyclone Wrestling Club out of Ames, IA. The Cyclone Wrestling Club has a rich and powerful history of producing Olympic gold medalists with their Legacy of Gold and Greatness at the Olympic Games. The other day while doing some reading I came across a picture of 2004 Olympian Paul Pierce and a quote that read, his entire life I know that both of these hurt, but the PAIN that lingers with regret is much more difficult to face than the pain of hard work! And just like Coach Jackson would say, "When has anyone ever said they regretted working hard?" Then Coach would answer his own question, "I never heard it!" "What hurts more, the PAIN of hard work or the PAIN of regret?" As a young man who has been striving to reach goals I will attack this journey to Río and then to the top of the podium with a R.A.R.E. mentality that will showcase my faith, focus, determination, work ethic, and talent! I hope to inspire my followers to make a difference and to go catch your dreams while persevering through the obstacles that you will face in life no matter how big they seem!

Be Great!

BE R.A.R.E.

Cheers,

If you would like to follow my journey and become a part of the Gadson Strong Family, look for the announcement of my website launch Gadsonstrong.com -- coming soon. To all those that have supported me along the way and will continue to support me, and to those just joining the Gadson Strong Family THANK YOU! I hope to see you in Río!

Kyven "Showtime" Gadson
#RumblingToRío