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Of all people, I am most grateful to Gene and Ame Rychlak. They have been supportive from day one until yesterday. They have been understanding, flexible and accommodating to our innumerous demands. I must say that because I feel I owe them so much, I was partly disappointed with myself for not being able to show my best performance yesterday. I had hoped to do quite a show as a token of my gratitude but it didn’t come out as I expected. I hope the little I did contributed to keeping up the standards they have made sure to set high.

Roger, from Lexen Xtreme, was an angel and did some sort of miracle by handing me off the bar with a  bent over deadlift, since I couldn’t reach the bar with my ridiculously short arms. Which, BTW, have been a cause of embarrassment for the second time abroad, but there’s nothing I can do about this: nature made me this way.

To Scott Cartwright for the wonderful gift which I will defend with tooth and claws (bloody ones).

I am grateful for having such great friends and acquaintances in the US, which makes it feel like home much more than where I presently live in. Meeting Dione Wessels again was being reunited with a sister. Getting to finally meet Therese Janc, Steve Denison and Dan Dague was a real pleasure and honor. Nicki (Crapota) is always Nicki: sweet, wonderful and beautiful. She can make anyone feel welcome.

I met great people at the XPC/RPS event – too many to name and account for. Griff Yeager was special and so was Steve, his father. The Russians were nice and, believe it or not, very communicative. Without a single word of English (or any other language I understand, for that matter).

I have just met the Polish team leaving. They told me they would probably not compete again at the Arnold’s Strongman Championship. Financial support issues. I can only say that it makes me sad, but it doesn’t surprise me. Governments and companies are the same everywhere and fail to understand the social relevance both of high performance athletics and the strength sports as a basic resource for training methods and strategies for everyone – from athletes to fragile recovering elderly patients.

I am at the airport. This is good-bye for the time being.

Not for long, though.