Former BSU discus thrower headed to London

Former BSU discus thrower headed to London

Former BSU discus thrower headed to London

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by Jay Tust

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBSportsGuy

KTVB.COM

Posted on June 28, 2012 at 6:24 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 24 at 3:56 PM

EUGENE -- For the past decade, former Boise State discus thrower Jarred Rome has been the best, most consistent athlete in his profession.

However, after a standout career at BSU and a trip to the 2004 Athens Olympics, Rome fell on hard times when he failed to make the 2008 Olympic Team headed to Beijing

On Thursday, June 22nd, Rome renewed his dominance at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. His final throw -- a massive, 63.35m huck he described as the best in his career -- secured him a spot on the 2012 Olympic Team headed to London

Two other Idaho athletes, Ian Waltz and Russ Winger, placed 4th and 5th, respectively, but failed to qualify.

Rome describes his performance as pure redemption, making up for a disastrous day four years ago when he failed to qualify for 2008 Beijing Olympics.

"It was terrible.  I'll never forget that day.  It was the worst day of my life," Rome told KTVB.

Not ready to forgive or forget.

"In 2008 I sat on my couch, and the person in my place got 40th, and I had a potential to get a medal," said Rome. "I had three throws slip off my hand, go straight in the air. I was fourth in the world, third in the U.S., and didn't make the team."

With that statement Rome's bitterness towards the USA Olympic qualifying process is obvious.

Contemplating retirement, Rome refused to leave his house for a month after the 2008 trials. While locked in a deep depression, he says he eventually opened his eyes to a sudden sense of renewal and pride.

"One morning I woke up and said, 'If I retire this way, I'm going to be 50, and I'm never going to forgive myself," said Rome. "It's a situation where you don't want to have any regrets, and I don't have any right now."

Having battled the peaks and valleys that come with his chosen sport, Rome is now ready for redemption four years later.

"Making this team in everything to him," said Art Venegas, Rome's coach. "When he was younger, he could get away with ripping [a throw] at the end because he was just a young powerful guy."

With a more mature approach, Rome is now benefiting from his new coach, who says his goal is to train Rome's massive frame to focus on the finer aspects of throwing. Venegas also says the 34-year-old is just scratching the surface of his potential.

"I know he's capable of moving way up in the final, and potentially making the final," said Venegas.

Thursday at the men's discus throw finals, Rome threw a distance of 61.26m in the first round, but fouled in the next three rounds. He came back in the final two rounds with throws at 60.46m and 63.35m to place 2nd, which secured his spot to London.

Rome says that performance means he's ready to compete at the Olympics again. "I truly believe in this. If your path is easy, you don't truly appreciate it when it happens," Rome said.

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