Brandi Darby Becomes First Blind Weightlifter to Place At National Event


In late July, the American Open Series 2 weightlifting competitors passed off in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. This competitors was huge for a number of causes. First, it served because the final US nationwide competitors that may use the old weightlifting bodyweight categoriesSecond, it’s one of many principal occasions used to qualify athletes for the American Open Finals. And final, however definitely not least, it was the primary competitors {that a} blind athlete has ever positioned on a nationwide stage.

Late final week, USA Weightlifting published a story protecting 90kg weightlifter Brandi Darby who grew to become the primary blind athlete to place on a nationwide stage. The story was extremely motivating and too good to go up, so we wished to spotlight the superior feat right here for individuals who could have missed it.

Darby competed within the ladies’s over 35 class and completed her meet with a 65kg snatch, a 70kg clear & jerk, which earned her a 3rd place 135kg complete. 

Editor’s Note: Weightlifting athlete, coach, and historian Artie Drechsler introduced it to our attention that Artie Ehman, a legally blind athlete, positioned third within the open division of a regional Jr. Nationals in 1958. Ehman lifted a 860 lb. complete (275-265-320; the press was examined on the time) weighing 225 ¼ kilos.

She informed USA Weightlifting that when she started practising Olympic lifting, she by no means had intentions of putting at a National contest. In truth, she defined that she wished to serve for instance for others who could also be too timid to attempt the game. Darby informed USA Weightlifting, “There are a lot of us who don’t have the confidence to try this or any sport because the challenges seem bigger than the possibilities.”

Darby’s love for weightlifting started Soon after becoming a member of a CrossFit health club. After becoming a member of the health club, Darby signed up for a weightlifting class to evade an 800 meter run that was RX’d in a CrossFit exercise, then rapidly fell in love with the game. Eventually, Darby sought out a coach that may perceive and work together with her incapacity, which led her to discover Coach Tom Duer on the Pittsburgh Fitness Project Barbell Club. 

Darby informed USA weightlifting, “Now that I’m with a coach who isn’t deterred by my vision, I worry more about environmental things. Will I be able to see the judges and their cues? Will the lights on stage be in my eyes and distract me? What stair, cords or apparatuses might I trip over because of my lack of depth perception?”

After formally starting her competitors profession at native meets in February 2018, Darby has already exceeded what many would name a profitable weightlifting profession.

To conclude their superior story, Darby informed USA Weightlifting, “I want to thank USAW for cultivating a culture of inclusion for people with disabilities like mine. I’ve tried a lot of sports in my life, this is the only one I didn’t quit for lack of support.”

Feature picture from USA Weightlifting YouTube channel. 

Editor’s Note: BarBend is the Official Media Partner of USA Weightlifting. The two organizations preserve editorial independence except in any other case famous on particular content material initiatives.



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