Thursday, September 04, 2008

Interview with Olympian Ric Blas Jr.

Anyone who has visited this site during the Olympics probably noticed my posts about Ric Blas Jr., who represented Guam in judo and served as Guam’s flag-bearer. I became fascinated by Blas because of his size, his MySpace page pictures (including this one on the right) and the fact that he seemed like a cool guy from every article I read about him and the MySpace page comments. Through the power of the internet, I was able to track Ric down and ask him a few questions about the Olympics, Guam and how he always seems to be surrounded by attractive women.

Yes, this may be a bit long, but how often do I have a chance to interview an Olympic athlete? (How about never!)

During the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics, I and millions if not billions of people saw you as the flag-bearer for Guam. You certainly stood out as a big and imposing person, particularly compared to the other flag-bearers besides 7’6” Yao Ming. NBC’s Bob Costas even said that you may be the heaviest athlete in Olympic history. I might as well get this question out of the way since your size is how people first notice you. Do all of these weight questions bother you? I mean you have to be a tremendous athlete to make the Olympics and you had previously proved yourself by finishing seventh in the world championships. However, it seems like every article about you focuses on your size.

The weight questions don't bother me at all! I am obviously over weight for sure and there is no use getting excited over every little thing people have to say. I usually answer all the questions about my size with a smile because its unavoidable and its all good fun! I am a very chill and simple person actually! I don't like unnecessary confrontation! So when someone asks me what I think about being the heaviest Olympian I kind of make small jests and move to the next question!

What was the experience of being a flag bearer like and were you nervous that you might drop the flag?

The Experience was awesome! I mean the organizing committee keeps you in a stadium about a 5 min walk away from the birds nest and while the opening ceremony is being held we are all just sitting around waiting for our coordinator to tell us when we have to get into line and make our way over! So the whole time the suspense builds and then you hear the crowd and it gets louder and louder with every step you take towards the stadium and then they give you the flag about 300 yards before you enter the track of the birds nest with a harness (which I proudly refused to use) and at that one moment before you walk out everything goes silent like the world has been petrified and then it passes and its a symphony of cheers and an eruption of different noises it clouds your mind. All you can think about is the colors and void of faces with their eyes on you so the last thing I was thinking about was dropping the flag. But I couldn't help but smile because I felt so much pride in carrying that flag and showing the world who we were meant so much to me coming in there that smiling was all I could do to prevent myself from crying! haha I don't think it would look good if the heaviest JUDO Olympian was tearing during the opening ceremony! haha I did almost fall though haha! There was a carpet and it was wet and it slid a good 10 feet but its that Judo balance that helped me out haha!

So how does someone become an Olympic athlete in judo?

Well I guess you need the experience and Balls to stand and fight in front of the world without fear of the consequences or judgment that comes with losing. Winning is even harder to deal with because the more you win the harder it is to accept your next loss. EVERYONE loses in Judo. It is a part of the sport. It is how you learn and become better. Other than that I think it takes a lot of determination and an iron will to keep it up! It is a taxing sport and a very demoralizing training regiment especially training in places like Japan or Korea where finding good judoka is as easy as taking 10 steps! But after conquering all these things and after making it your life and only priority until the end of the competition only then can you have a chance at becoming an Olympic Athlete.

Leading up to the Olympics, what was your training regiment?

Well lots of time in Japan and Korea! I hit the weights every day! LOTS of power training!

There always seem to be stories that the Olympic Village is a crazy place. What is it really like? Is it luxurious or were there military-type barracks?

It’s a small mix of both! They are like hotel rooms actually! The sheets and towels are changed every day! The entertainment centers are always open for everyone! There is a DVD and Billiards room for everyone to mix and hang out at! There is even bus transportation within the Village! The mess hall is open 24 hours and it serves so many different kinds of food its crazy! And the unlimited amounts of drinks that are available within what seems like every 20 steps you take! I guess the only way it would be military barracked is you have to share your room with one other person but mostly I had it all to myself!

Did you go to any events besides judo in Beijing?

I watched all my fellow team mates do their competitions! I watched a lot of track and swimming! Wrestling and most water sports! But I was just caught up in the village life and when I was done with my competition I kinda didn't feel like doing much you know? Still trying to deal with the fact that it’s all over!

Was there anyone at the Olympics that you hoped to meet and did? Who was the coolest athlete you met?

To tell you the truth I don't keep up with other sports much. I mean I know who Kobe and Lebron is just because you see them all over TV and stuff but other than that I was most excited to meet up with my fellow Judoka! I met a couple boxers and Vince Vaughn! haha

What are you doing now that the Olympics are over?

Well just [the other] night my best friend Andrea had a BBQ for me! It was awesome! I am pretty much just relaxing and enjoying the Island life! But I still hit the weights every day and do cardio! To tell you the truth now that I am done with the games I will be dropping LOTS of weight! My actual plan is to possibly get down to 260lbs if my body will allow me to weigh that much! But for now just relaxing!

On your Facebook and MySpace pages, there are dozens of pictures of you surrounded by attractive women. How do you do it?

I have a million hilarious responses to that question but in all honesty I don't know. I just am where I am and am who I am and its been working for me no matter my shape or size!

While I know that you can’t speak for all of Guam, what are the people of Guam’s thoughts on the Presidential election between Obama and McCain and just U.S. politics in general?

haha To tell you the truth I hate getting into politics! It’s what Guam is all about! I try and stay out of it! There is already so much drama in the world of sports that having to deal with that is enough! BUT on a personal note I am rooting for Obama! And he has a lot of supporters on Guam!

Although I’ve never been to Guam, I’ve heard that there is probably the best name of a strip club ever on the island, the G-Spot. Have you ever been?

haha Believe it or not I have not been to club G-spot. It is a very non-local place to go I guess. Everyone else I know goes to other clubs on special occasions. G-spot does more business with our military population more so than our locals. But hey come to Guam and see for your self! You are more than welcome to hang out! Let me know when you are coming and I will show you the ropes! I will personally introduce you to the night life and show you all the gorgeous Local spots! (Sean’s note: I’m going to Guam on my next vacation!)

Are you going to try for London in 2012?

You know everyone is asking me about it! people keep telling me I have a great chance especially because I can use the next 4 years to really prepare because I know what I am up against now but I also want to know what its like to live a "normal" life! I have known nothing but JUDO since I was 5 years old and it’s always been a top priority in my life. So it is still undecided. I am kinda taking some time off now from the mat just to get a feel for what the real world is all about. but if you are asking me if I am still "itchy" then yes I am I want it more than ever but life is so short and there are many more things to conquer out there in that big bad world you know? I need to be sure I am ready to dedicate another 4 years of my life to it! I’ve already given 17 years to it! It’s a tough decision...............

Although I haven’t met Ric (since I've never been to Guam or Beijing), we have been corresponding back and forth a lot recently. I just want to add that I am impressed by how humble and down-to-earth Ric is. He’s not even 22 and is an Olympic athlete! Thanks again to Ric for participating in this interview!


Anonymous said...

very well done sir!!

tecmo said...

Dude...awesome! Ric seems like a great guy

Anonymous said...

Great read Sean! Enjoy your time off Ric and we hope to see you in London!

Anonymous said...

Great interview - Ric seems like a nice guy. If you do go to Guam, Sean, I am sure that will be an interesting story, as well!

GnippotsNavyCmdr said...

Yes, the locals don't frequent Gspot much. You're right, on special occasions Club USA is usually the pick of strip clubs when ever there is going to be a bachelor's party before a wedding, a birthday celebration or special holiday... mainly because it's well known more so by the local population for special occasions. As far as Guam... Ric Blas Jr. rocks at Judo! Also more on this special little island of Guam... Yes, here lays this little island in the Pacific Ocean that few have heard of unless from its mention in movies. What few realize is that Guam sits atop the highest mountain in the world when measured from the bottom of the ocean. Here in Guam there are military bases, beautiful tourism locations with white sandy beaches... and a dip after the coral reefs to the deepest part of the ocean in the entire world. Wow! Who would have known? What's fun in Guam other than hanging out at the beach for a tan? There's golf, jet skiing, sailing, canoe rides, a year round 80 degree outdoor temperature while hanging out at the tiki beach bars, swimming pools, waterparks, try fishing, or barbecuing at the picnic grills. If you enjoy site-seeing, take a drive around the island. The cliff views are amazing, not to mention historic caves and stone carvings. There's several malls and shopping centers if you need supplies. What about the night life in Guam, what is there to do? You could start the night off with dinner at a Tumon restaurant. Then check out one of the live bands at the pubs or dance at a nightclub. What about some excitement? If you really want to have a wild time that is less tame, try one of the dance clubs. After checking out several, my favorite is Club USA, very popular with the Japanese tourists and military personel. You can tell by how many stickers are all over the stage! Some of the chics that use to work at Club USA fell in love and married military guys. Now there's a new batch of single hotties... All imported models put on a very entertaining show performance. Olivia has the most well-endowed oversized chest at any of the clubs, almost amusing. Tiffany is so small she's adorably cute, yet performs like a wild maniac. Sweet is like a jungle panther, and Diamond is Wonder Woman on the pole. Kwimi has an alluring hour glass figure like the mermaid statue in front of the building of the club, and Kwimi does out of this world backflips, bends and a baton show. Joellee is very athletic on her routine. Grace has a spicey hispanic look, and Skye is an Australian blondey. Sassy is a very sassy teenager, Scarlett is fever hot, and Honey is an Irish ski bunny that use to work at a ski resort. Party away with the Club USA chics, fun, yeah! If you're military make sure to carpool and try sharing a room at the Westin or Guam reef, in walking distance of shops and nightlife, that way everyone can party. If fully booked try Grand Plaza or Pacific Island Club aka PIC that has a wild dinner with fireshow, jungle costumes and a set like out of the King Kong movie with loud drum beats that rock the night away. Otherwise, if driving back... make sure to appoint your designated drivers ahead of time, that is an order.

Anonymous said...

As a personal friend of Ric's, I appreciated the article. Out of all my friends Ric is the kindest man and his heart dwarfs his stature.
It's great to see his dedication to Judo and Guam is appreciated.
Thanks Sean