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American Samoa is at this time being represented in the 2012 Senior Oceania Wrestling Championships (January 27-29) in Sydney, Australia, with wrestlers from the territory and the American Samoa Wrestling Association (ASWA), in the first stage of the Olympic qualifier for the 2012 Olympic Games to be held in London, England this summer.

Head coach for Team American Samoa is Ethan Lake, who is also president of the ASWA. Lake spoke to Samoa News via-email saying, “Talofa American Samoa. Today is hump day, (Wednesday) and we are only a few days away from the actual competitions. This was our first full day here and the wrestlers took full advantage with two intense practices.”

“Team American Samoa was in good form today as they trained, getting themselves prepared to go head to head with Oceania’s best wrestlers. The toughest matches will most likely be with Australia and New Zealand. However, Samoa, Guam and Palau, all have one or two good wrestlers as well. With the day being focused on hard training, there wasn’t any time for much else. Tomorrow marks the first day of official activities, but not the actual wrestling competition itself. Tomorrow is when the final entries are turned in and weigh-ins for mens and women’s Freestyle Wrestling are done,” he said.

Lake told Samoa News via-email that they ended the day with a team meeting, focused on what it meant to be part of ‘Team American Samoa.’ “This year’s team is made up of wrestlers and Samoans that have not all been training together in one place, leading up to this year’s Championships. However, all have come together to wrestle for ‘Team American Samoa’. All of the team members were reminded that they represent the Team and American Samoa first and foremost at all times, while at the same time, they need to understand that on the mat, they must wrestle for themselves first”.

“As team American Samoa, they are all representing Samoa through their blood, heart, body, sweat, tears and soul. We must be proud, yet humble. We must be a role model for our country, culture and our people. We must keep the focus and work together to bring home the gold. We are Samoa,” Lake concluded.