However, unlike some of my friends and students, I don't think it's a laughing matter. I think it is frightening to see what outrageous stories can be told in the United States and then are accepted by many educated people and academics as facts. Movies get awards, books become best sellers, heroes are made, and people become wealthy as a result of dishonest caricatures of Iranian people and society.
Winning awards is great. Everyone wants to put a feather in their cap but for me the ultimate validation comes when you're standing on top of a peak and the weather's moving in and you're trying to manage logistics with your client, whether its food, water, shelter, and really there's only one constant out there: I know the last person I'm going to get to take care of is myself, so my gear has got to work. I take a lot of pride in knowing Eddie Bauer makes the best gear out there.
I get some of the nicest fan mail you could imagine. Also when I'm up for an award, my fans all vote online and then they'll boast to each other about how many thousands of times they've clicked my name. Their thumbs must be bleeding!
In a tournament, even though there are team scores, it's calculated and it's a lot more individual. There is more honor to say you're not just better than the opposing schools' wrestler, you're the best wrestler in your weight class. Plus there are lot more awards to win in a tournament.