Grand Rapids man competing in 2020 Olympics for Samoa

Posted at 5:26 PM, Jul 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-26 17:44:43-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Grand Rapids man is putting himself through a grueling practice schedule to prepare for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Twenty-seven-year-old Alex Rose will be competing in the discus event for the country of Samoa.

In between being a full-time technical sales engineer, Rose is finding time to practice. Once the lunch hour hits, he finds the nearest track

"I go to Google Maps satellite view and I look for rings ... I’ve gotten to be an expert at it. I look for tracks and I look for platforms nearby that I can throw off of," Rose said.

After changing in a port-a-potty, or whatever structure is nearby, Rose gets about 35 minutes of practice in during each of these lunch hour sessions.

This has been his life for the past several years.

"There are three areas of my life: work, training and family, which is essentially right now just me and my wife," Rose said. "Whenever I take from one, I kind of have to neglect the other two. So I have to be very very careful how I manage my time.”

Finding a balance to fit everything in has taken awhile. Rose says things have started to click in 2019.

“I tried getting up way earlier to train, tried squeezing in too much, like midnight lifting sessions, but I’m into a groove now," he said.

Rose and his wife Sam live in Grand Rapids, but Rose has chosen to represent the country of Samoa in 2020.

He says the decision was born from a conversation he had with his father.

“I used to represent the United States as a junior ... but I had a conversation with my father, Ross, and he would have been really really proud of me if I were to be the first person to make an Olympic final for track for Samoa," Rose said.

To follow along with his journey, you can check out his Instagram page.

Alex is sponsored by Earth Fed Muscle and Nelco USA.