Story provided by Bridger Fitness –
On Saturday June 3, athletes came from Montana, Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming (Sublette and Lincoln Counties) to compete in the Wyoming Weightlifting Open put on by Bridger Fitness in the Etna Community Center. Weightlifters’ ages ranged from 10 to 50 years old, and for many, it was their first time on the competition platform.
The sport of Olympic Weightlifting may be different than you think. There was no bench pressing or deadlifts. In Olympic Weightlifting, athletes have three chances at the Snatch – a lift in which the barbell starts on the floor and the lifter takes a wide grip and the lift is complete when the bar is locked out over their head. They then have three attempts at the Clean and Jerk. In the clean, the barbell is taken from the floor in a more narrow grip and lifted to the shoulders. The athlete com- pletes the lift with the Jerk, where the bar is again lifted over the head. The goal is to lift the heaviest weights possible.
Olympic Weightlifting requires training in technique, coordination, balance, strength, mobility, speed and power. It also requires mental training to be able to complete the lifts on a platform in front of spectators. Because Olympic Weightlifting demands practice in all these areas, it is a great way to improve in sports, improve overall fitness, and learn to compete or continue competing.
Many of the competitors on Saturday were youth ages 10 – 18 years old. Iron Kitchen Weightlifting Club in Pinedale brought a mighty team of 13 youth lifters. One youth competitor was from Star Valley, Levi Kilpatrick, who ended up winning the Youth Male Age Division. Levi is headed to the Youth Weightlifting National Championships later this month.
Other athletes competing from Star Valley were Kendell Foreman, Katlin Galloway, Jacklyn Shockey and Joe Kravetsky. Kravetsky won the Adult Male Age Category.
The gymnasium was packed with family, friends and parents supporting these lifters. One spectator, a first timer to a weightlifting competition, commented, “This is so great! I can cheer for everyone!” Even though there are awards for the top lifters, determined by body weight and total weight lifted, each person is working to better themselves and achieve their own individual goals. Weightlifting is one of the most supportive and positive competitive sport environments. It builds confidence, improves mental toughness, persistence and grit, while also having fun in the process.