I am lucky enough to have been coached by two Olympic medalists throughout my career: Harold “Hal” Connolly (’56) and Anatoli Bondarchuk (’72). It is interesting to see how many similarities they have in their approach to the sport despite their differences in upbringing (Boston vs. the Soviet Union). First, they are both very resourceful. I have seen Hal at work in his shop developing various makeshift implements to throw onto astroturf fields. Dr. B is well known within our training group for jerry-rigging hammers. If we only have a 6-kilogram hammer and he needs a 6.5-kiogram hammer, he’ll just strap on enough bolts and washers for it to be the desired weight. If we run out of handles, he’ll find some scrap metal and weld his own. His solution isn’t always the safest (I’ve often been thrown to the ground as my hammer breaks), but it allows us to continue with training.
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