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!
Harrison's Journey to the Games
"When I started out weightlifting, I didn’t know where it was going to take me. I had just quit gymnastics, which I had done for the prior 4 years, and was looking for my next sport to try. I figured I’d use weightlifting as a way to get strong for whatever sport I chose next. Turns out, weightlifting would become my next sport, and I would dedicate nearly the next decade of my life to it.
2013 marked my first national level competition in Dallas, Texas. The same year that Dallas got hit by an ice storm which pretty much shut the whole city down. My competition results there weren’t exactly great either. I managed to do fairly well in the snatch portion but failed to make any of my Clean and Jerk attempts, earning me the grand sum of 0 in the total. Not a great start. But for some reason, the head coach of the weightlifting program at the Olympic Training Center invited me to go out and participate in my first team camp in Colorado Springs. Being invited to train at the OTC is what kicked off my career and interest in weightlifting in earnest.
My next major step in weightlifting would come in 2015 after making my first national team. Youth World Championships in Lima, Peru would be my first time traveling internationally as part of Team USA. I would continue on to make several more youth and junior level teams over the next two years before earning a spot on the 2017 Senior Pan-Am team in Miami, Florida. Additionally, 2017 would also be the year I made my first Senior World Championship team. Sr. Worlds in Anaheim, CA is what I would consider one of the most major turning points in my career. After bringing home a bronze medal in the Clean and Jerk and the Total, our plan quickly accelerated from potentially making a push for the 2024 Olympics to making a serious bid for the 2020 Olympics.
Weightlifting would also begin to pull me more and more away from school. Fortunately, I would be able to complete all four years of public high school while still being able to travel for extended periods of time for Team USA. It wasn’t uncommon for me to end the school year with roughly a month and a half’s worth of missed school days. Thanks to some awesome teachers and a very understanding administrative staff, I was able to work around my travel schedule and succeed in both.
That, however, changed quickly after graduating from high school. I attempted to attend the University of Washington in person as a biology major, but after being sent to Turkmenistan for the 2018 Sr World Championships and being literally unable to complete class assignments because the internet was blocked, I realized that in order to achieve my full potential as an athlete I would have to put a temporary hold on my college education. Pursuing a higher education was always encouraged in my family and was something that I was and still am planning on completing after finishing my athletic career. That being said, it was a fairly easy choice to set it aside to chase my athletic aspirations.
2019 would bring further changes to my journey. After a pretty serious back injury, I would decide it was time for a change in coaching and scenery. Upending my entire life and moving from WA to GA was certainly not something I had planned to do, but was a necessary step in advancing my career.
After a major coaching change and moving across the country, I figured that I had cleared the majority of issues I’d face and it’d be smoother moving forward. I was wrong. The Covid-19 shutdown would throw another wrench in the machine and delay the Olympics a full year. While initially heartbreaking, the delay wasn’t entirely negative for me. It allowed me an additional year to continue to train and get stronger as well as give me the opportunity to work with and get to know my new team and coach.
I returned to competition in early 2021 where I met the final requirements to be fully eligible for the US Olympic Weightlifting team and a few months later I was selected to represent Team USA at the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
While not a conventional Olympics, I am still proud to represent my sport and country at the highest level of competition. I am thankful to all those who have supported me through my journey, including everyone at Earth Fed Muscle who have had my back since the beginning. I’m looking forward to heading to Japan and showing what the past ten years of work have been for!"