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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Born In Cuba, Representing The USA In Hong Kong

The life and times of Joey Pedraza is international to say the least. Lexie Kelly of Open Water Source interviewed the Cuba-born American marathon swimmer who is representing his adopted country for the first time at a FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup competition in Hong Kong.

Kelly: On the eve of your first FINA Marathon Swimming World Cup event, are you nervous?

Pedraza: I am not a naturally nervous person, but I am worried that I took 2 months off. I know that I am undertrained for the 10K.

Kelly: Do you have any expectations at the World Cup race in Hong Kong?
Pedraza: I am here for the experience. I have my eyes open for everyone, what they do. Chinese food is awesome, it's almost like Cuban food, but prepared extremely different so I am not concerned. Jet lag is what's killing me right now. I have never been this long on an airplane and never have I been on this side of the world before. My legs for some reason are killing, especially my sprained ankle that I twisted 3 weeks ago before I started swimming. It's swollen. I heard that the men's competition is more stacked than the women's race [so] it's gonna be tough.

Kelly: What are you planning to drink or eat during the 10km race?
Pedraza: For hydration I will take Gatorade Primes, amino acids and sugar gels with water. It will be spaced out and mixed specifically for each loop of the race.

Kelly: What are your plans for 2013?
Pedraza: For 2013 I will be traveling to Brazil to train with an open water club that's really good. I'll be there for almost 3 weeks doing a camp and learning as much as I can. I'll also be traveling to other parts of the world for camps. My coach [Alex Pussieldi of Davie Nadadores] has a large network, so people are willing to help us out. I'll also be training with the Russians as well and will train for the World Championships. Its extremely hard for me right now because I don't have any sponsor, but I will go to other World Cups too in Argentina and Brazil.

Kelly: Do you feel any pressure?
Pedraza: It's my first time to represent the USA in an international competition, so the pressure on me is high. My coach said not to worry about things, but instead to focus on learning from these world-class athletes. That is why he sent me here. I'm honored to be here representing the USA, but I am also worried that I have only been back 4 weeks in the water.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

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