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Olympics Delay Affects Ogemaw Heights Alum, Qualifier Alex Rose

The International Olympic Committee postponed the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo to next year, running from July 23-Aug. 8, 2021. That has affected several Olympic athletes, including Ogemaw Heights alum Alex Rose.

Rose was set to compete in this year’s Olympics for Samoa in discus, but once he heard about the postponement, he had to consider several different options.

“I took a nine-month sabbatical from work, so I could train full-time leading up to the games. So I’m about four months in. I’m kind of halfway done with it,” Rose said. “And now, I’m realizing the games are going to be a year later than expected, so I’m kind of faced with some big decisions coming up right now.”

There are summer events from April to June that he could compete in, but Rose is worried that those will be postponed or canceled as well. On top of deciding whether he should go back to work, he will face other major life decisions with his family.

“My wife and I, we’ve had plans to where after the Olympics are over, we were gonna buckle down, save for a forever home, start to have a family, things like that,” Rose said. “So delaying that is probably the worst part about this.”

In the meantime, Rose has found a way to work out from his home in the Grand Rapids area.

“I built a discus ring in my backyard. The other day, I just poured the concrete. It’s not set up yet, but that’s my plan for the (stay-at-home order). As soon as that’s dry, I’m just going to be taking as many throws as I can into the net every day. And hopefully I don’t miss the net. Don’t hit neighbors or anything.”

He also borrowed a squat rack from a local gym, as he continues to work toward a bigger goal.

“I did not do as well as I wanted (in 2016),” Rose said. “I actually strained my abductor about a month before, so I was kind of doing rehab for that, and I only threw about two days in the month leading up to the Olympics. I think I placed 28th, and it really left a bad taste in my mouth.”

It changed the way he prepared for Tokyo, and the postponement will likely change more of his plans. But he feels fortunate to have this opportunity.

“I’m very, very lucky to have qualified for a second Olympics. There’s not a lot of people who get that opportunity. And I really get it I take advantage of it every single practice session,” Rose said. “My coach, Dane Miller in Pennsylvania, he always reminds me how I need to do something to where, if I look back, 20-30 years from now, I don’t say, ‘Man, I really wish I would have trained a little harder, or I wish that I would have taken a couple more months off from working full-time.’ He doesn’t want me to have any regrets, and neither do I.”


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