It's 6 a.m. The light blue sky is painted with a hint of orange before the sun makes its daily trek across the horizon. Most of Iowa City's 82,000-plus residents remain sound asleep in their beds.
Not Doug Schwab.
No, the former Hawkeyes NCAA champion has all intentions of making the most out of every moment of the day.
For Schwab, it's just another day in the life of a small-town Iowa boy with big dreams. As he makes his daily venture over to Carver-Hawkeye Arena for the first of many workouts during the day, the Osage native envisions himself standing on the top of the awards stand in Beijing with a gold medal around his neck as he hears "The Star-Spangled Banner."
"I've rehearsed it in my head maybe 10,000 … 100,000 times," he said, pondering the taste of being an Olympic champion. "I've been there. I've seen myself there. I've heard the national anthem playing."