Sept. 29, 2013
Prior to his trek to Antwerp, Belgium, for World Championships, Michigan graduate student gymnast Syque Caesar sat down with MGoBlue.com's Scott Kemps for a question-and-answer series. Fresh off leading U-M to the 2013 NCAA national championship, Caesar is once again representing Bangladesh on the International stage.
How did the Olympics prepare you for the process of getting ready for competition of the magnitude of World Championships?
Competing at the Olympics taught me how to control my nerves and handle the magnitude of a competition like the World Championships. However, competing at the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo, Japan, was the first big step in learning how to compete at the highest level in the sport. The Olympics was the final step in forcing me to learn how to keep calm and cool under the pressure of competing at the biggest meet I will ever participate in.
How is training changed, if at all; have you tried to upgrade anything heading into Worlds?
Training has been mostly about getting in really good shape and focusing on hitting routines with very high execution. I will be competing on high bar, as well as parallel bars. In terms of upgrades, I added a skill, a giant-Diamidov, to my parallel bars routine, which adds .03 tenths to my start value since NCAAs.
How is training different now that you are in graduate school as opposed to being an undergrad?
My training schedule is quite different now that I'm in graduate school. All my classes are only offered late in the afternoon right during our usual practice times. So for three days out of the week, I have to come in to the gym early and train before the rest of the team gets there. It's definitely not ideal as training with the rest of the team because keeping the energy level and intensity up while working out with the other guys is pretty easy. However, when you're alone or with just a few other guys during workout, you have to be much more self-motivated and diligent in putting in the same amount of work in the gym as you would when you work out with the rest of the team. I have adjusted and have become more used to it now.
What are you looking forward to the most about heading out to Belgium?
I'm most looking forward to having a good competition and enjoying the experience. I've only been in Europe once, during last year's London Olympics, so I'm excited about being in Belgium for the first time.
Sam Mikulak Q&A