Skip To Content
  • Olympics badge

This Athlete Worked At Big W For Nine Years To Follow His Olympic Dream

Started from the bottom, now he's AT THE GODDAMN OLYMPICS.

Australian athlete Alex Hartmann is damn fast. So fast in fact that he's currently in Rio, competing in the Olympics.

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.

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

"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

"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

Australian pride doesn't have to end when the Olympics do! Sign up for our "Meanwhile in Australia" newsletter and we'll send you a weekly roundup of the craziest, most hilarious, and most awesomely Aussie things around.

If you can't see the signup box above, just go here to sign up!