For my Sunday Conversation this week I sat down with Morty Schleckman, who just returned from Rio. The Bristol native was America’s representative in the inaugural 200m waterslide.
Boardman: You finished just out of the medals.
MS: The field was tough. The Samoans swept the event. They’re like rocket-powered cannonballs down the slide.
Boardman: Tell us about what’s involved in the 200m waterslide.
MS: Essentially you lie on your back at the top and slide down. It usually helps if you raise your hands and yell, “Woo hoo!”
Boardman: Where do you train?
MS: Lake Compounce provided Mammoth Falls as our training facility, a family raft adventure. The mornings are usually reserved for us athletes with the kids kicked off the ride.
Boardman: There’s been controversy at this year’s Olympics.
MS: Many Russians were disqualified due to the use of performance-enhancing drugs. In my event, one guy was getting injections of genetically modified chicken fat to help him go faster down the slide. We first suspected it when we’d become very hungry whenever he was around.
Boardman: Tell us about your Olympic experience.
MS: I marched in the opening ceremony. Michael Phelps carried the American flag around the stadium while I was honored to be chosen by my fellow Olympians to push the American pretzel cart. Sadly, they didn’t want me in the closing ceremony. I think they were embarrassed
by my performance on the slide. I understand it – I did lose my swim trunks during one run.
Boardman: What’s the next competition you’re preparing for?
MS: The World Cup. It’ll be held in Italy this year. With the recent earthquake, I hear the slide has become more challenging.