FOREST HILLS, Pa. — “I feel really grateful and just blessed to have made it this far.”
Forest Hills native Alex Miklasevich says he feels honored to be called an Olympian.
Following in his brother’s footsteps, Alex could not resist participating in rowing, and he is good at it.
“Growing up, I played basketball, soccer and tennis, and I really enjoyed playing those sports. Whatever the season was or whatever sport was in season, I would get pretty obsessive about it. So, once I started rowing, it is a full-time sport or a full-year. So as soon as I did that, I didn’t look back. I just committed to it and stuck with it,” said Miklasevich.
Not always a morning person, Alex found an escape on our rivers that led him to Brown University. Now, ten years after he first picked up an oar, he will row for his country at the Olympic Games.
“I love being out on the water. You sort of escape as soon as your shuffle away from the dock. It is sort of a different world. You are almost totally removed from whatever you are thinking about. You are totally pressing,” said Miklasevich.
Miklasevich, who is 6 feet, 7 inches tall, has trained around the clock for the past several months.
He has logged more than 20 hours a week in Oakland, California, fighting for a spot in the eight-man boat.
It is the passion of our city and the time he spend on our rivers that he will take with him to Tokyo.
“I think also, just sort of the spirit of Pittsburgh, you really get to experience the city in a different way rowing in the early mornings and watching the sun come out. So, I think that determination and joy and love of the sport will always be part of my experience,” said Miklasevich. “It is a large commitment, but it is one worth making,” said Miklasevich.
It’s an experience he can lean on with fellow Pittsburgher and U.S. Olympian, Michael Grady.
Miklasevich and Grady rowed together at Central Catholic High School.
And, while they will be competing in different boats in Tokyo, their connection is unlike any other.
“It’s really been special and pretty tremendous that we will take on this whole journey together,” said Miklasevich.
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