UWA student Cruz Hogan gave WAIS a rundown of what it means to be an elite javelin athlete.
When did you first start participating in your sport?
I started little athletics as a 7-year-old. At that age you compete in all the events with no real event-specialization. Of course a spear in the hands of a 7-year-old is not the wisest decision so we used plastic "turbo" javelins instead. It is not until you reach the age of 10-11 before the plastic javelins are substituted with the real deal metal javelins.
Once we were able to throw metal spears, I fell in love with the sport. Although, it wasn't until I was about 15-16 before I started taking the sport seriously and set my goals of one day making the Australian Olympic team.
What is your favourite thing about your sport?
What's not to love about chuckin' spears!?
I've always loved the competitiveness and individuality of the sport. Javelin is a very objective sport, it completely comes down to the distance you have thrown and I've always been eager to continually beat my best.
Nothing beats the euphoria of throwing further than you ever have before, knowing how much blood, sweat and tears have gone into getting that distance, even if it is only 1cm further.
There is always room for improvement, you never feel satisfied - once you throw the distance you've been chasing, it's now about throwing even further. I think there is definitely an element of 'distance greed', which is what drives the motivation to continually improve in all aspects of the sport, whether it be technical, strength, power, etc.
What is your biggest sporting achievement to date?
My biggest achievement to date would be being selected for the U20 Bauhaus Junioren Gala international meet in Germany, where I placed second. This provided an amazing training and competition experience where our preparations for this competition began at the European training base of the Australian Institute of Sport in Varese, Italy. Since then I've had two major elbow reconstructive surgeries within two years which has limited my ability in competing on the national tours, so it is hard to know where I'm at performance wise. Nevertheless, I'm always setting my goals on the next big competition.
What is your ultimate sporting goal?
The ultimate goal is to wear that green and gold uniform proud in an Olympic final for the men's javelin.
Do you work or study?
These days I'm keeping myself very busy! I'm currently completing my doctor of physiology (PhD) in a collaboration with the University of Western Australia and the Western Australian Institute of Sport. I'm currently based at WAIS, therefore I feel like I'm in the building 24/7!
Other work I'm currently involved with includes being a talent identification coach for Athletics WA, an athlete co-facilitator for the Developing Champions program and the Online Sales Manager for my family business, Hogan's Chilli Sauces.
What is your biggest non-sporting achievement to date?
Being awarded an Australian post-graduate award to complete a PhD.
Other big non-sporting achievements include: being awarded Little Aussie Bright Eyes (when I was 4-years-old) and I was once cast for a movie starring Sam Worthington. My scene may have ended up on the cutting room floor, but I was cast nonetheless.
Do you have any other hobbies outside of your sport and work
Fishing - don't catch much, but casting is kind of fun.
Originally published by WAIS 7 September
Graduate Officer UWA Sport Marketing, Communication, and Events