Grand Rapids discus thrower nears end of long road to Tokyo Olympics

Japan 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Next month, Alex Rose will get on a plane to head to his second Olympics.

He’s a Michigan native living in Grand Rapids, but he’s throwing discus for Samoa, where his father was born. He also represented Samoa in the 2016 Games in Rio.

The road to Tokyo has been much more fraught as Rose and other athletes had to deal with a pandemic that pushed back the games and disrupted their training schedules. Rose meant to take a three-month sabbatical from his job at a technology company to prepare for the games; that turned into well over a year.

Above, he tells News 8 sports director Jack Doles he almost gave up on Tokyo. He explains how he ultimately pushed through and who helped him.

Right now, Rose has the record for the longest discus throw on American soil this year. If he stays on track, he could earn a podium finish in Tokyo. If he manages it, he would the first athlete to ever earn a medal in the Summer Olympics for Samoa.

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