Boise State decathlete Kurt Felix moved from Grenada to Central Arizona College in 2007 to throw the javelin.
The worlds greatest athlete? He wasnt even a well-rounded one.
I didnt even know what a weight room was back home, he said. I hated running.
His coaches, though, pushed him to try some new things.
Like the pole vault.
It was scary, he said. I didnt have much of an approach. I pushed (the pole) in the ground for a couple steps and tried to muscle my way over.
And the 400-meter run.
I used to hate the pain it used to give me, he said. Whenever I started feeling the pain, I started to give up. Now Im pushing through that a lot better.
That Felix moved from those humble beginnings to 2012 NCAA decathlon champion in less than five years provides a hint of what could be in his future.
Hell compete in the Olympic decathlon, representing Grenada, on Wednesday and Thursday in London.
And he could be a medal favorite in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
His point total improved by more than 1,000 in three years at Boise State.
Felixs NCAA championship effort in June netted 8,062 points, nearly 1,000 short of gold-medal favorite Ashton Eatons world-record score (9,039) at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
(Felix) has got a tremendous ceiling out in front of him, Boise State assistant coach Jeff Petersmeyer said. I told him in the fall, One day, youre going to break the world record. Down the road, I really think he can do that.
Felix has attacked his weaknesses, fears and dislikes in the 10-event decathlon to reach this level. The pole vault has been his biggest challenge he no-heighted in the event at the NCAA indoor meet this year in Nampa, spoiling his chance at the heptathlon title.
Now that he understands it and hes had success with it, hes having fun with it, Petersmeyer said. Hes having fun throwing the discus. Hes not scared of the hurdles anymore.
Said Felix: I looked at it like if I want to be great at decathlon, I have to start liking each and every event. Pole vault is all mental for me. It took a couple of disappointments and just me really wanting to work hard at it.
The decathlon includes the 100-meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump and 400 meters on the first day and 110 hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1,500 on the second day.
Felix got his athletic start throwing rocks and picked up the javelin at age 15 but was a stranger to the rest of the events when he arrived in Arizona.
He does a lot of things naturally well, Petersmeyer said. Hes not one you have to give a bunch of cues to. Hes got a great memory. If you tell him something once, hell remember it. He does everything asked of him.
Petersmeyer traveled to London with Felix to train him for the Olympics. He expects Felix to improve upon his personal best, set at the NCAA meet.
I think he can do great things, Petersmeyer said. I dont want to put a number on it, but I definitely think he hasnt hit his limit for this year.
The Olympics are the start of Felixs pro career. The 24-year-old plans to remain in Boise and train with Petersmeyer.
He left for London with the added confidence provided by his NCAA win and with a more carefree attitude.
I dont have any pressure on me to perform like most of the big guys, he said. Hopefully, Ill come home with a personal best.
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat