The Earth Fed Elite squad is taking on THE ENTIRE WORLD this summer! This article outlines the story of Olympic Discus Thrower Alex Rose and his journey to the pinnacle of Samoan Discus. Stay tuned for the stories behind our other Earth Fed Olympians!
The Journey to the Games
My personal journey through athletics doesn’t begin with my own story, rather the story of my father as he emigrated to the United States from Samoa as a nineteen-year-old musician ready to pursue his own version of the American dream. He played various gigs as a guitarist and vocalist- hopping from churches to bars playing anything and everything. On the side he worked as a security guard with other Samoans that he lived with in a tiny dirty apartment. Eventually he joined a travelling rock cover-band that played all over the country. He carved a path to Florida, then somehow wound up in Northern Michigan where he met my mom and started a family.
Flash forward nineteen years to 2010, and I had just returned from the Junior World Championships in Moncton, New Brunswick where I represented the US in the discus throw. I didn’t do very well in the meet, but at the time I was more concerned with hanging out with friends, and finally being able to enjoy my summer. I was happy to be home. Shorty after returning, I received an email from Samoa Athletics. They informed me that because of my father’s heritage, I could easily apply for dual citizenship, and represent Samoa in the coming years. This was a unique opportunity to finally visit the Pacific Islands and compete in Oceania Championships/Pacific Games/Commonwealth Games in the future. After talking with my parents about this, I decided that competing for Samoa would be an incredible experience and accepted the offer.
Since that day nine years ago I have traveled all over the world competing. What started as an opportunity to travel became an opportunity to learn and grow as a human being. I was experiencing different cultures and ways of life that shaped me into the person I am today. I was able to meet my Samoan family for the first time on the island. I traveled to New Zealand and Australia, where I met dozens of cousins and family members. I have travelled to Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tahiti, and many other unique locations- all because of a decision I made on a whim so long ago.
The past few years have been a bumpy ride. For a couple years I was working a very demanding sales job while training, but somehow managed to hit the Olympic Standard of 66m qualifying me for my second Olympic Games. Shortly after this I took a sabbatical from work so I could focus on my training. Due to covid this sabbatical wound up taking a year longer than expected, in the middle of which I had a serious groin injury which required surgery. My wife Samantha has been my rock supporting me through all of the turmoil.
Heading into the Tokyo Olympics this year I am ranked seventh with a throw of 67.48m. Training consistently has led to my best season of all time. I am immensely proud to represent the small island of Samoa that my father grew up in so many years ago. No one has ever qualified for an Olympic final for Samoa, let alone won a medal in Track and Field. I have an opportunity to make history, and I can’t wait to step in the ring and let it fly.