Australian athlete Alex Hartmann is damn fast. So fast in fact that he’s currently in Rio, competing in the Olympics.
Alex’s race is the 200-metre sprint. Yeah, the same race in which Usain Bolt will be trying to break his own world record next week.
Unlike most Olympic athletes however, 23-year-old Alex didn’t start any kind of athletic training until he was 16. This was mainly due to the fact that it’s bloody expensive.
“Growing up, money was always a little tight” . “It’s not like we didn’t have food to eat or anything like that, but extras like Little Athletics just weren’t a necessary cost. At the time, my parents just couldn’t justify spending what was a fair amount of money.”
As soon as he was old enough, Alex got a job at Big W, where he stayed for the next nine years. Besides buying a Suzuki Swift, almost all of the money he earned went towards training, gear, and competitions.
@alexhartmannalthete / Via instagram.com
“My managers knew I was striving to be an Olympic champion and pretty much let me work the hours I wanted,” said Alex. “On a standard day, I’d work in the morning, go home for a half-hour nap, eat, and then spend the evening training. I’ve done pretty much every job there that didn’t require me being a manager.”
A year and a half ago, Alex quit his job to train full-time. While he refused a farewell dinner, his colleagues threw a morning tea to see him off.
@alexhartmannathlete / Via instagram.com
“I still visit the store every now and then to see how everyone is and to have a laugh – they’re some of my biggest fans.”
“The Olympics are known to produce some amazing results, so anything is possible,” said Alex, counting down the days until his first race in Rio.
@alexhartmannalthlete / Via instagram.com