Jul 31, 2008, 05:42AM

Wrestling With Commitment

In the sweaty gyms of Iowa a college wrestler is mentally rehearsing the experience of Olympic victory as he prepares for Beijing. Wrestling is still one of the truly amateur sports left, and the dedication of student-athletes like Doug Schwab shows that even without a big paycheck there's still plenty of motivation for success.

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."


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