Written by David Shapiro '16
After what seemed like three days of endless travel and no rest we have finally landed in Moscow, Russia and made our way to their Olympic athlete compound and training facility for wrestling.
The days leading up to our arrival in Moscow were extremely eventful. After he long car ride to Chicago, Illinois, we met up the the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire wrestlers who we are traveling with during the cultural exchange. After finding our seats on the plane we were greeted very nicely by KLM Dutch airlines as they gave the "American wrestlers traveling to Russia" a very warm welcome over the intercom before the flight.
Seven and one-half hours later we arrived in Amsterdam and jumped on a train headed into the city. The team spent the morning on a boat touring the city through its many canal. This boat ride allowed us to see all the beautiful sights Amsterdam while our skipper gave us a brief history lesson as well.
Following the boat ride we spent the rest of our layover wandering the city. Sometimes it seemed as if we were lost in Amsterdam and until we grasped the hang of the city map. We spent some time at St. Nicholas Church and in the Red Light District. We also just enjoyed wandering up and down as many streets and alleyways as we could as we looked into the shops.
After our 14-hour layover, we got back on KLM airlines and the majority of the team spent the 3.5-hour flight to Moscow catching up on rest. We landed in Russia at 2:30 in the morning and arrived at our final destination -- the training facility -- around 5 am. After checking in, we spent the rest of the morning and afternoon eating and catching up on much needed sleep.
Tomorrow the hard work begins as we begin to train with our Russian and Bulgarian counterparts. We are excited to get started.
About David Shapiro: David wrestled for four years at BW and was an outstanding student and wrestler. The exercise science major helped to lead BW to an Ohio Athletic Conference title and individually was an NCAA Division III national tournament qualifier in 2014. He ended his career with a 104-40 career record.