Ryan Crouser, the two-time Olympic shot put champion and world record holder, hopes to throw the discus some time after the 2024 Paris Games.
“I plan on giving the discus a year on the off-year,” he told Flotrack on Friday after qualifying for Sunday’s shot put final at the world championships in his home state of Oregon. USA Today first reported Crouser’s interest in the discus.
The next “off-year” — without an Olympics or world outdoor championships — is in 2026, when Crouser will be 33.
“Before COVID, [the off-year to try the discus] would have been 2022,” he said. “Everything getting pushed back a year has kind of eliminated that opportunity for an off-year. But I do want to give the discus an honest effort at some point in my career.”
Crouser’s agent said he would not give up the shot put if and when he adds the discus.
It would be reminiscent of another Oregon native, Ashton Eaton, the two-time Olympic decathlon champion. In 2014, an off=year, Eaton shook things up by racing the 400m hurdles, then returned to the decathlon.
Crouser is a little more familiar with the discus than Eaton was with the low hurdles. He won the 2014 and 2015 Big 12 titles in the event competing for the University of Texas. Crouser’s dad, Mitch, was a 1984 Olympic alternate in the discus.
More than a dozen Americans previously competed in the Olympics in both the shot put and discus, according to Olympedia.org. Most recently, John Godina, who did both in 1996 and 2000, when he won shot put silver and bronze. Robert Garrett and Bud Houser won gold in both events in 1896 and 1924, respectively.
“The improvements I’ve made physically, but most of all mentally would lend myself to throwing the discus at a high level,” Crouser said. “It’s easier on the body than the shot. It doesn’t beat you up quite as much.”
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