Frank and I left out of BWI on Saturday and flew to Atlanta to meet with the memebers and coaches of the team. That
night we would stay at the Holiday Inn at the airport, then fly to Johannesburg via South African Airlines. We departed at
8:00am on Sunday and got into Johanessburg by 8:20am on Monday. The trip was long (17hrs), and Frank kept looking out the
window making sure the wing was still attache to the plane. He does not travel well if the trip is more than 10 minutes from
Once we had landed and gone through customs and gotten our bags, it was another 2 hours to the hotel/casino. Bus had
no AC, and we had not only our team, but some lifters from other nations. So we were packed in tight.
Once we got to the venue, we headed to the room (very nice) and kicked back for a bit. The place had 2-3 places to eat
and breakfast was included in the hotel package.
What made the trip even better was the fact that one USD was equal to seven of their Rands. Also, things were a
third of what it would cost here in the states. You could go for dinner at the hotel, ahve a t-bone or a filet, have a drink
(or 2-3) have all the extras and pay less than $12.00.
The women lifted the first day, with my group being the last and starting at 5:00pm. South africa id six hours ahead
of our time, but it was not hard making the adjustment.
By the time people and countires finished jumping up or down weight classes, the number of women in the 165lb class had
grown with the addition of a Russian and English lifter.
A number of lifters had been affected by a stomach glitch, with one our lifters having to drop out of the lifting. That's
sad because he was a nice person and tried to go through warmups trying to gut it out.
I went 6/9. The lifts I missed would have placed me higher, but I still won a gold for the deadlift which was 440lbs.
I spoke to Frank, but in the week prior to the meet, I lost about 9lbs. So when I weighed in, I barely weighed 154. This was
down from 162-163. i have a feeling it had alot to do with my job, but Poop that's water under the bridge.
The entire experience was great. With the exception of the long plane ride, it was a good experience.
Frank has posted some meet and other pictures of South Africa, hope you find them interesting.
Next year the masters world will be held in Texas, so it will be easier and more affordable. I just hope I can qualify
for the team.
I want to thank Johnny Graham and Gina Stepleton for handling everyone and everything like we were all special. Frank
and I enjoyed the time with the team. Thank You both.