Uploaded Ad Q&A With Wrestler Konrad Dudziak
Courtesy: Tyler Shore, Duke Sports Information
Release: 06/13/2008
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Konrad Dudziak
Photo Courtesy: Duke Photography
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DURHAM, N.C.Konrad Dudziak, a wrestler here at Duke, has taken this school year off to focus, train, and compete for a spot on the United States Olympic Team. The 211.5 pound Dudziak will compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials this weekend June 13-15 in Las Vegas. If victorious in the matches this weekend, Dudziak will face the No. 1 ranked wrestler in America in a best-of-three series to represent the U.S. in Beijing this summer. Dudziak will be returning to Duke this fall as a redshirt-junior. He will be a top candidate to become the first All-America or National Champion in program history. recently caught up with Dudziak, a native of Poland, to discuss the upcoming Olympic Trials. You decided to take this year off from Duke. Was that a tough decision to make?
Konrad Dudziak:
“No, not really, not this year. I had been taking time off since my sophomore year, so I took half my sophomore year off, half my junior year off and then this whole year. It really wasn’t a tough decision; it was hard at times because I had never been able to come back to Duke and my graduating class, and I haven’t seen them in the last two years. I kind of regret that but it really wasn’t a tough decision.”

GD: Do you still keep in touch with your Duke teammates and coaches?
“Yes, especially with my captain from senior year, and he is one of my best friends.”

GD: What do you most look forward to about your return to Duke in the fall?
“The fact that I’ll probably put our wrestling program on the map. Our wrestling program has not had an All-American ever, and I’m looking to win the national title for it.”

GD: You are a physics major. Any thoughts on what you plan to do with your degree after your time here at Duke?
“That’s a long story, but in 2012 there is a gravity telescope going up by NASA and it’s the first time we’ll be able to get a good reading of gravity waves, which we haven’t been able to get before so theories will be tested. A lot of new science will be written and corrected and I’m hoping to jump on that wave.”     

GD: What do you feel are your strongest skills on the wrestling mat?
“I traveled the world. I’ve been to Russia so I have a lot of technique that a lot of people have not seen, and I’ve trained here under one of the most intense guys so I’m both skilled and mentally tough.”

GD: What influenced you to contend for a spot on Team USA rather than Poland?
“When I came here it seemed like the right fit for me. In Poland, it was a lot different. I was wrestling, but I wasn’t breaking through the pack and here, the last thing I really needed was mental toughness. I started winning matches when I was here, so I decided to stay.”

GD: How is your training regimen for the Olympics different from wrestling practice at Duke?
“For one, I’m completely focused on wrestling here. Its 24 hours a day when it comes to my diet, when I sleep, when it comes to how I rest, when it comes to how I work out. Everything is wrestling. I get two workouts a day, I make sure I get the proper amount of rest, proper amount of sleep, proper amount of food. At Duke you only have time for one workout a day and many times I didn’t get the right amount of sleep because I was up all night doing my physics homework, and sometimes your diet suffers when you do that too, so it’s a lot different.”

GD: What are your thoughts going into the matches this weekend at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, having previously faced and defeated Brent Jones and Willie Parks?
“Well I know I can win, I just got to keep doing what I’m doing. I know I can win it, it’s mine to lose it so I just got to stay as focused as I did before.”

GD: What would it mean to you to represent the United States in Beijing?
“Everything... I mean back where I started it might not have been realistic, but right now I want it really bad.”

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