BY ZAKKARIAH ROLFE
At the beginning of October, two-time Binghamton University All-American Jason Goldman will begin his journey in Sarajevo, Bosnia as he chases the title of Veteran World Champion. After winning Freestyle and Greco Roman national titles in each of the last three years, he’ll be looking for double gold, competing in both styles at 58 kg. (Freestyle will be first).
Goldman has seen a lot of overseas success throughout his wrestling career. In 1990, he won a gold medal at the Vierumaki International Cup in Finland and in 1991 he earned a silver medal at the Cadet World Championships. Fast forward to 2009 when Goldman won a gold medal at the Maccabiah Games in Israel. (The Maccabiah games are recognized as the Jewish Olympics held every four years).
A lot of things had to fall into place for “Coach JGold”, as the Section Four community refers to him, to make the upcoming trip. First, he had to win the Freestyle and Greco Roman national titles back in April. He also had to raise the money to travel and he had to train.
Who would have thought that winning the national championships would be the easy part? Goldman dismantled his competition, surrendering only two points and picking up two pins and a technical fall in Freestyle. Meanwhile, in Greco, he picked up two technical superiorities on his way to his second title in two days.
Raising money might have been the most stressful part for Goldman. He had three weeks to prepare for a spaghetti dinner, where there was also a bake sale, Chinese auction, 50/50 raffle, great food, and a DJ/band for entertainment. Another major contributor to his fundraising efforts were Goldman’s “TEAM JGOLD” shirts, which were a huge hit.
“I only anticipated getting five dozen made up but after pre-selling them in a week’s time, I had accounted for almost 150 shirts,” Goldman said. “To this day, I have sold over 200 ‘TEAM JGOLD’ shirts, and I still have various sizes available for purchase – cost is $20.”
The last part that needed to fall into place was preparation for the tournament. Of course, that wasn’t easy with many other commitments.
“Competing as a Veteran, most of us have busy lives that revolve around work and family,” Goldman said. “We all wear many hats; whether we’re husbands, fathers, sons, teachers, coaches. I’m fortunate that no matter the role, I have a pretty strong supporting cast behind me, especially from my wife of six years. As a result, I’m blessed to say that my training over the last five months has gone very well.”
That preparation has been intense, both physically and mentally.
“From a physical standpoint, my training weeks since April have consisted of two to three days of wrestling practice, two days of lifting, several runs and watching lots of video,” Goldman said. “I run a lot of 5K races on the weekends to stay in shape, challenge myself and keep that competitive edge. I’m constantly setting small goals for myself, whether it is to run faster, lift heavier, not give up takedowns in practice during live goes, etc. I’m thankful to have had a great training partner throughout the summer, Casey Lanave, student-athlete at Cortland. Throughout my training, I have also continued to coach a handful of dedicated kids, who by making a commitment to the sport have inspired me to work hard to achieve my goals, as I help them work toward their own.”
Achieving his goals also involves running the upcoming tournament through his mind, ready for whatever awaits.
“As for my mental preparation, I’ve spent every day since Nationals visualizing myself winning this competition,” Goldman said. “I’ve seen myself as a World Champion for the last 150 plus days. I’ve already won. It’s all about going out and executing my game plan at this point.”
Goldman said he’s excited about what the journey will bring.
“Going to the Veteran Worlds will be an overall new experience, different competition and a different country,” he said. “Another thing that makes this trip so special is having my father go out as the Team Leader. My father has only missed one competition (Finland) in my competitive career that has spanned more than three decades. It means the world to me, not only to have him make the trip to watch me compete, but to have him in my corner while I do so.”
He’s very clear on what he, with his father at his side, plans to do when he gets to Sarajevo.
“A few weeks ago, I got a tattoo on my right bicep of the words ‘Carpe Diem’, Latin for ‘Seize the Day’ and the letters ‘ETG’ (Embrace the Grind). This has been my training motto all along, and one that I try to instill in all the wrestlers that I coach. I’ve worked hard, I’m healthy, I believe in my training and I believe in myself. I’ve never been more ready to throw up the straps, lace up the shoes, flip that ‘beast mode’ switch and empty the tank! In the words of our 74 kg World Champion Jordan Burroughs, ‘All I See is Gold’, except because I’m representing the USA in both styles in Bosnia, I’m hoping to bring home DOUBLE GOLD!”
Jason Goldman wanted to thank Jeff Goldman, Greg Smith, Rob Kennedy, Thorobred WC, Superior WC, Rocky Point WC and the Hancock Youth Program, for their support and their major financial contributions.