Russ Winger - ASICS Track Athlete
Place of Birth: Colorado Springs, CO
Residence: Colorado Springs, CO
College: University of Idaho
Event: Shot Put/Discus
- Shot put – 21.29m (69’ 10.25”)
- Discus – 66.04m (216’ 8”)
Consistently ranked in top10 among US throwers in both events. Most recently, 2nd place finish in the discus at the 2013 USATF National Championships.
A native of Colorado and an Asics athlete since 2010, Russ Winger is currently the best double-event thrower in the country. Russ graduated from the University of Idaho in 2008 with degrees in materials engineering and metallurgical engineering. While at Idaho, Russ earned 6 NCAA Division I All-American titles in the shot put and discus. His best marks are 21.29m (69' 10.25") in the shot and 66.04m (216' 8") in the discus. †Since college, Russ has consistently been ranked among the top 20 athletes in the world in both events and among the top 5 in the United States. Russ narrowly missed making the Olympic Team in 2012 but is committed to getting it done in 2016. †He currently lives at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO and trains alongside his longtime girlfriend, Kara Patterson (Purdue grad, American record holder in the javelin, and standout Asics athlete). His support staff includes strength coach James Myers of the USOC and throws coach Craig Carter of the University of Arizona. Russ is also passionate about the outdoors and spends his free time hiking, camping, and fishing all over the West.
How did you start in your sport?
I've always enjoyed throwing heavy things around so getting in to track seemed like a natural move. In the spring of my junior year of high school, I decided to give it a try instead of continuing to play baseball. I ended up getting some attention from colleges and built up through collegiate athletics into the professional realm.
What does a typical training day look like?
I lift 4 days per week and try to get in 3 to 4 throwing sessions as well so on a day when I have both, I'll usually lift in the morning after breakfast and head to the track for the afternoon throwing session after lunch. Sprinkled in throughout the week will be physical therapy and other recovery activities such as massage.
What keeps you passionate about your sport?
Having the full support of my friends, family, and ASICS makes it easy to train every day. I love to travel and compete and although training can get monotonous at times, there's no feeling like the one you get when it all pays off. The sport always has a way of keeping you hungry as well. There's no such thing as the perfect performance but we all carry a snapshot of it in our minds that keeps us moving forward and reaching for it. Lastly, I'm often able to train and travel with my fiancée, Kara Patterson (javelin). Her drive, focus, and positivity are contagious.
What continues to drive you forward?
The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. I've barely missed out on making two Olympic Teams in my career but I've learned a lot from those experiences and I won't let it happen again.
What made you realize you had made it?
I've had a lot of success so far but in my mind they're small successes and I haven't "made it" yet. In our sport, being an Olympian is the mark of a truly elite athlete and spending any amount of time around the world's best athletes tends to be pretty humbling.
I absolutely love everything about the outdoors. Outside of training, my time is happily spent fishing, hiking, hunting, camping, backpacking, and wildlife watching/photographing. I also enjoy cooking, brewing beer, and woodworking.