Profession: Athlete – Shot put
- 2020 Olympian
- 2022 European Throwing Cup silver medallist
- 2022 World Indoor Championships finalist – 7th
- 2022 World Championships finalist – 9th
- 2022 European Championship finalist – 4th
- 3x National champion
What were your first thoughts when your teammate suggested you try shot put?
I have always played many sports my whole life. Any sport you can think of – I’ve probably done it in some way. Despite my athletic background, I had no idea what a shot put was until I was 17 years old. I was firmly convinced that I was going to play football in college and was going to take that path as far as I could take it. However, when a teammate of mine suggested I do shot put to stay strong and in shape in our offseason, I decided to give it a go! From there, I was absolutely hooked in all aspects. The fact that I could lift all the weights I wanted, eat all the foods I loved, and have my performances be dictated by my hard work and dedication, all made it my top priority and my true passion. From there, I’ve been able to take it to the highest level imaginable, and to a place that I couldn’t even have dreamt of taking it.
When do you know that it’s going to be a good throw?
The feeling of a good throw isn’t always necessarily the stereotypical, “oh that felt good off of the hand” type of throw, as much as it is a culmination of doing all the little thing right and knowing that the energy accumulated throughout a less than 2 second movement will create the throw we all seek. Finding a good throw can be difficult at times, even for guys like myself at the highest level, but with the amount of directed effort and dedication to the craft and its specific details, they become more commonplace and happen more often than not.
Can you tell us about Chubby Diamonds…..?
Chubbydiamonds is now my entire brand. It is something that came about by happen-chance. The name was birthed in about 2012 when I created my Instagram handle to tease a friend of mine for his ridiculous name. In doing so, everyone seemed to really love it, and it quickly became something I was know for- this comedic alter ego, which as I’m sure everyone knows, is one of my greatest characteristics!
What superstitions do you maybe have while competing or leading up to the meeting?
I don’t have any superstitions at all that I believe in, or I believe will have a negative impact on me. I partake in things that I know will make me throw well and keep me in the right frame of mind. The only thing I absolutely have to do before a competition is to speak with my wonderful girlfriend. She is absolutely my rock; a true source of my happiness and she helps me be the best athlete and man I can ever be. That’s most important to me more than any distance, any shimmy I do in the intro, or any prestige I could ever gain.
When are you at your worst?
I am at my worst when my mind is in a really negative place, or I feel things in my personal life are bogging me down and keeping me from being my true and best self. These moments are few and far between, but they do happen, and a part of being a professional athlete is being able to mitigate those problems, and still be able to go out, compete at the highest level, and do your job.
What is your favourite piece of clothing in your wardrobe?
My favourite piece of clothing at the moment is my HVIII Brand Goods Carhart Jacket I recently got. They are my favourite brand, my favourite sponsor, and they make sure I am always taken care of. It helps that the team is always behind me as well. It makes representing them, and the wardrobe I get to showcase around the world, easy to do.
How do you bake a great cannoli?
There are a lot of things I can make Italian food wise, but most Italian pastries I indulge in, are just eaten by me, not made by me! However, when it comes to my favourite type of cannoli, it would have to include some cinnamon in the shell, a chocolate inside coating, and some pistachios in the sweet ricotta cheese filling. That’s when Nicky Two Chins is in heaven!