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.

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

instagram.com / Via instagram.com

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.

instagram.com / Via instagram.com

"Growing up, money was always a little tight," Alex told BuzzFeed. "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."