Coach Dan James (center) talks strategy with the women's team
© Jeremiah Yolkut
By Jon Rydberg, special to USTA.com
Jon Rydberg, 34, of St. Paul, Minn., peaked at No. 11 in the world in 2007 and competed in the 2004 and 2008 Paralympics. He also captured the singles gold medal at the 2007 Parapan Am Games and the doubles silver medal that year with Lee Hinson. Rydberg has represented the U.S. at the World Team Cup and competed in three US Open wheelchair competitions.
He is blogging for USTA.com from Guadalajara, Mexico during the 2011 ParaPanAm Games.
Our first few days in Guadalajara have been a tale of two stories in different ways. First off, it's amazing that you can be wearing all your warmest USA gear available at breakfast, only to take the warm clothing off by 9am. Jacket and pants to spf 50 in sixty minutes. If Guadalajara weather were a car, it would be a Ferrari. Naturally, that "Ferrari" will also go from spf 50 to jacket and pants come dusk. Should be interesting if night matches are scheduled. Personally, I'm bringing my whole wardrobe.
Secondly, it's great to get some good training sessions in, and also enjoy the city of Guadalajara. We managed to get four hours of training in each day, but also have some wonderful dinners at local restaurants and immerse ourselves in the city. If our average day in Guadalajara was a car, it would be Ford truck during the day and a limo at night. A great mix of activities to keep an athlete sane during a long competitive focused trip.
Saturday will be much the same as we have a training session, the draw party, and opening ceremonies for a night cap. This is a big day as it means we are very close to the start of competition. We will find out who we play and at what time. The day will be filled with enthusiasm, fireworks, focus, patriotism, and anticipation. I guess you could say Saturday will be a well rounded "used car lot". Personally, I can't wait for the test drive!