Ryan Crouser’s Got a PhD (and Gold Medal) in the Shot Put
August 18, 2016
RIO DE JANEIRO — Former University of Texas Longhorn Ryan Crouser dominated the shot put final tonight winning with a throw of 22.52 as he had the four longest throws in the competition. Joe Kovacs of the US was second and Tomas Walsh was third.
Crouser’s transformation in 2016 has been almost unbelievable. Before this year he only had two NCAA titles to his name, but his best non-altitude throw was 21.27. Tonight he had three throws more than three feet farther than that.
Crouser comes from a throwing family, but his priority in college was getting his degree. He spent five years at Texas and was finishing up a master’s in finance this spring. He graduated with honors and said he is almost as proud of that as he is of his Olympic gold.
Crouser started throwing a little further indoors (21.73) and then once school was done and he moved to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista things really took off. In college, because of time demands, he was only throwing three days a week (and lifting the other days). Now he’s throwing six days a week, and the transformation has been amazing.
He upped his PB to 22.11 to win the Olympic Trials and then today went .41 further (16 inches) to 22.52 (73’10”), an Olympic record. Incredibly, Crouser PR’d three times in the Olympic final — 22.22 in round 2, 22.26 in round 3 and 22.52 in round 5.
He said, “A lot of it has been that academic load coming off. I finished my master’s this year. For the last five years I have been throwing three times a week and since this year I have been throwing six times a week. A full throwing load has made the biggest difference. And technically the higher throwing amount has solved a lot of my technique problems, really polished it.”
While getting his master’s at Texas he said it was a tight-knit close group of about 50 students who did a lot of “extra-curriculars” that he could not take part in because he was training. We hope he’s taking part in a few “extra-curriculars” tonight because he earned it.
Crouser was asked if he might further his studies. He laughed that after tonight he’s “probably not planning on getting my PhD.” He’s got a PhD in the shot put already.
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