Team USA shot-putter Ryan Crouser shares how he managed the pandemic, the creativity behind his training
RYAN CROUSER: I'm Ryan Crouser, Team USA shotputter. I was Olympic gold medalist in 2016 in Rio. And going into 2021, 2020 was definitely a challenging year for a lot of people. But I feel like I managed it to the best of my ability. I'm proud of the commitment that I've shown.
There was a pretty short list of what we had. And so it definitely required some creativity. We lost facilities.
It was a Monday afternoon. An email came down from the AD saying you guys got to be out by 5:00 PM today. So that evening I was at Home Depot buying plywood and getting in contact with track and field suppliers to build my own portable shotput ring. And I just kept that in the back of my truck and would go to the elementary school behind my house and throw off the sidewalk onto this empty lot.
We got some weird looks because that's right along a jogging trail. So it'd be-- I'd have people come by and make comments like oh, how far are you throwing? And then I'd tell them how far, and they'd be like oh, that's pretty good. I threw about that high school. So there was a lot of comments with that were pretty entertaining.
I've been doing my med ball workouts underneath the bridge into the concrete supports. So that one also gets some unusual looks because I'm on the same trail that I've been throwing it off the sidewalk. My coach has a little bit bigger garage with higher ceilings. So I can Olympic lift in there.
And he's been really generous letting me lift in there. And so I've been in there since March and still do about half my workouts there when I can't fit them in at the University of Arkansas. It's definitely been a lot of improvising and figuring out ways to get what I need done.
But I've enjoyed the challenge in the sense that I feel like I've been able to make a system that works for me. So at this point, I'm just excited to get out there and compete on the international stage again and try to showcase not only what I've done, but also the work that a lot of people have helped me along the way to get done during this challenging year.