Olympic Shot putter Ryan Crouser Does His Family,UT, Proud!
From Star-Telegram - Crouser was as big of a surprise in the shot put only because his American teammate, Joe Kovacs, entered as the favorite. “Maybe for you guys he was a surprise,” Kovacs said. “But he’s been training in Chula Vista [Calif.] the past couple of months where I train. He’s been training really well, so I wasn’t surprised by it. I thought I could kind of jump him with my experience, but he ended up pulling it off and had a great series.” Crouser, 23, took the lead for good with his second throw, going a personal-best 72 feet, 10 3/4 inches. He increased that with a 73- 1/2 on his third throw. His fifth throw of 73-10 3/4 set an Olympic record, breaking the old mark of 73-8 3/4 set by Ulf Timmermann of Germany in 1988 in Seoul. “My whole technique [when he started] was based on Ulf Timmermann’s Olympic record,” Crouser said. “I watched that throw probably 10,000 times. That was one of the most beautiful throws I had ever seen. So to break that record … it was truly special.” Crouser’s father, Mitch, served as an alternate on the 1984 Olympic team as a discus thrower. Crouser’s uncle, Brian, qualified for two Olympic teams in the javelin. Crouser’s cousin, Sam, is his roommate in Rio, having qualified for the Games in the javelin. Sam finished 34th earlier this week. “It’s definitely a family affair,” Ryan said. “They were all standing in the stands behind the shot put and all were in Team Crouser uniforms, so it was a pretty cool to be able to do that in the Olympics in front of family.” It didn’t take Crouser — now 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds — long to outgrow his grandfather’s back yard shot put ring in Oregon. “He had a little ring in the back yard and threw into a little sand gravel pit, but it was lined with a hedge on one side and a garden shed on the other,” Crouser said. “I lost one to the right a little bit and threw one through the roof of his garden shed and had to go back the next day and put a new roof on it.” On Thursday, Crouser raised the roof at Olympic Stadium, Soon, he might be taking down the last record left — Aggie Randy Barnes’ world record mark of 75-10 1/4.
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