📅13 July 2015
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By Robert Balajadia

Guam’s Warrior Justin Andre will be the lone representative in the final leg of the Track & Field portion of the 2015 Pacific Games, but don’t for a second think he’s going to be alone. His family, friends, and island of Guam will be behind him as he steps up to propel Guam to new distances in his comeback story.

Andre will be competing in the shotput, discuss, and hammer throw events which are set to begin on Tuesday.

“There’s been a full-team committed to my training these days, and I’m serious when I tell you that my family has been the biggest part of it. From my wife Nicole taking my son to practices to my kids’ grandparents picking up and watching them just so I can squeeze in time to train after work. My coach Frank Tangil and teammate Sam Do, Dr. Joseph Dimalanta with L.O.H.A.S. Chiropractic Clinic setting me up for optimum performance,” said Andre of his team.

The Return

Guam's 2015 Pacific Games thrower Justin Andre. (GSPN photo)

Guam’s 2015 Pacific Games thrower Justin Andre. (GSPN photo)

Team Andre has been aiding Justin not just in his athletic throwing endeavors but on his journey back to football as well, which is what got the ball rolling on his comeback after a major back injury back in 2009.

“I think that this is what was laid out for me from the Lord above. The decision to really come back was from one reason alone, my family. My wife, my kids Isaiah and Sophia, and my entire family giving me the ‘go’ and support to fully commit, as it requires, to get back to the top of my game and then some,” said Andre.

His comeback to football helped add three straight championships for the Pepsi Warriors from 2013-2015 in the MFL and his play on the field only boosted his confidence in returning to throwing.

“The days I think of taking a break I end up thinking to myself ‘5 years was a long enough break, let’s do work, all hear’. I’m hungrier and more determined than I have ever been,” added Andre.

He isn’t phased at all knowing he’s going to be the only Guam competitor on the field during the athletics portion of the games, displaying a true ‘warrior-mentality’.

“I still have the same mentality since the moment we found out we can go as a team and up until now knowing I’ll be out there myself. I’m just focused and excited to be able to represent Guam once again. It’s not often you get a chance like this,” he added.

Competition Ready

Andre isn’t going into the 2015 games raw off of his lone training and has instead tasted medal success in the Oceania Athletics Championships 2015 in Cairns, Australia where he threw Guam to two bronze medals.

He is a gold medalist in the Micronesia Games, but he admitted the Pacific Games is a completley different animal.

“I’m just looking forward to the level of competition and the opportunity once again to represent Guam. I feel that if I stay focused, give it 200%, and leave it all out there in PNG then I won’t be disappointed with my results.”

The 2015 Pacific Games were Andre’s immediate plans and he hit his comeback just as hard as he hits offensive players on the football field from his linebacker position.

His bigger plans include representing Guam next year in the Olympics, which of course is a much harder goal to tackle, but he and Team Andre are fully committed.

“With everything that I have in me until the Lord tells me I can’t, I will continue to pursue this Olympic dream. In the end, I only hope I’ve done enough to show at least my kids that no dream is too big to go after, even after you’ve been knocked off your path a few times.”

Justin Andre competing in the (photo courtesy of Nicole Merfaulen Andre)

Justin Andre competing in the Oceania Athletics Championships in Cairns, Australia. (photo courtesy of Nicole Andre)

Thank You

The road back to gold couldn’t have happened without a handful of important people and Andre wanted to shout out to those who have made Team Andre possible.

“To my wife, my kids, my family,  the ‘STACKERZ GUAM boys’, my coach and GTFA teammates, “DOC”, GTFA and GNOC for the opportunity to represent Guam again, Cabras Marine Corp., and everyone who has supported me…A HUGE THANK YOU for helping me get to where I am today and ready to compete. I wouldn’t be here without you all!”

A family photo of The Andres' - Noah, Nicole, Sophia, Justin. (photo courtesy of Nicole Merfalen Andre)

A family photo of The Andre’s – Isaiah, Nicole, Sophia, Justin. (photo courtesy of Nicole Andre)

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