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2011 ParaPanAm Games

Blog: Jon Rydberg, Entry No. 3

November 17, 2011 08:53 AM
A happy Steve Welch (background) smiles as teammate Jon Rydberg fires a winner in doubles.
By Jon Rydberg, special to USTA.com
John 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.


If you haven't read my second blog, or you need to refresh your memory, please do so now before proceeding, as this blog references the second one.

If you are reading this sentence, that means you did actually re-read it, or remembered it, and I congratulate you. Now that you have done that, I want you to totally forget everything I said in that blog. I mean everything. Let's pretend you have amnesia from a tennis ball hitting you in the head. That "someday" was actually yesterday, and my gray Movember facial hair did not account for anything.

I lost to the No. 1 seed, 4 and 2. It's hard to play a match at that level when you haven't played a good match in months. The umpire made bad calls, the sun was in my eyes, the wind was in my face, my arm hurt, I had a flat tire, and I think there was a dog crying for help in Mexico City that bothered me. But I'm not one to complain or make excuses for losing, so I won't mention those things.

The good news is that we beat Canada in doubles, 4 and 3, and moved on to play Colombia in the semifinals. That match is today, and there is no wind, sun, crying dogs, etc. So we plan on playing well.

Since I asked you to suddenly come down with amnesia, I must do so for myself, also. There are certain things I would rather forget about after this event. One is the aforementioned dogs here. So many stray dogs that are gentle, and I would love to take them home with me, minus the bugs and disgusting "dirt" in their fur. The second is the bus rides between the village and tennis venue. Imagine riding in an office chair at 60 mph down a road that seemed to be paved by someone like me, who couldn't lay a blanket down flat. My head hurts from hitting the ceiling of the bus, and I think Kramer from "Seinfeld" could sell me a "bro." Maybe I should be blaming the 50-year-old  bus more than I should be blaming the road. After all, I haven't seen a Tires Plus around. Again, I'm not one to complain.

The good things I will remember are the doubles we are about to play, the girls kicking some butt, and the wonderful Mexican fans and staff here. I can't say enough about how well we are treated here and the value of a pin. I don't want you to forget about those things, either. Just the aforementioned stuff that you should have already forgotten. 


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