Ryan Crouser talks shot put diets, his amazing Rio 2016, and why he left Oregon to study in Texas

The reigning Olympic shot put champion joined he Olympic Channel Podcast to talk in-depth about his life and career.

By Ed Knowles
Picture by 2016 Getty Images

Ryan Crouser is the reigning Olympic champion in shot put and recaptured the attention of athletics fans in 2021 by setting a new indoor world record of 22.82 metres.

The outdoor world record of 23.12m, set by Randy Barnes in 1990, also looks to be under threat with Crouser throwing 23.01m in May 2021.

Crouser has form for peaking in Olympic years.

He graduated from the University of Texas just months before going to Rio 2016 and setting an Olympic record to win gold.

“[It felt like] a whirlwind there, especially for me being fresh out of college.

“[It was my] first real international meet, [and] having it be the Olympics was just a lot to take in.”

Ryan joined the Olympic Channel Podcast to talk about his diet, the unbelievable World Athletics Championships competition, and why he traded his home state of Oregon to study in Texas.

READ: Here are five things you did not know the Rio 2016 gold medallist.

Ryan Crouser: On Diet

Shot put throwing requires an intense amount of power. It means that the athletes have to make sure they can generate it consistently.

It means their diets are strictly regulated.

“[On] my average training, I hang around five thousand calories and when I'm in heavy lifting, trying to gain weight, I'll go up to six thousand.

According to the British National Health Service. the average recommended calorie intake for a male is 2,500 per day.

“ [I] try to go eat every two hours.”

If you think this sounds like a lot of fun then Ryan has a warning.

“Doing that five times a day, seven days a week… that's kind of the struggle of it.

“The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”

Ryan Crouser: On trading Oregon for Texas

Ryan grew up in the state of Oregon. It is legendry in the United States for track and field.

But he decided to study at the University of Texas.

“I love the love the track team and the track and field side of the University of Oregon receive. But they were a liberal arts school.

“And, for me, being much more maths and science based, and wanting to study engineering. That's the main reason why I went to the University of Texas.

“It fitted my goals academically as well and felt like I could achieve both that at a high level at the University of Texas.”

Ryan Crouser: On the crazy World Athletics Championships

It was widely regarded to be one of the highlights from the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha.

The shot put final had more twists and turns than your favourite box set thriller.

“Afterwards talking to my dad he's like, ‘If you, if you saw that in a movie and that was the script, you'd say that that was unrealistic.’”

In the end, Ryan’s team mate Joe Kovacs came out as world champion with Ryan a close second.

“If you're going to lose, at least I lost to my team-mate. And couldn't have lost by any less!

“[It was] just an awesome competition to be [a part of].”