Herald JournalHerald Journal, Oct. 6, 2003

Former resident wins medal in weightlifting competition

By Lynda Jensen

Former Howard Lake resident Richard Smith recently won a bronze medal for the World Masters Weightlifting Championships conducted in Georgia in September.

Smith, 36, lifted a total of 430 pounds, with six impressive lifts.

He competed in two categories that are familiar in Olympic weight lifting ­ "snatching," and the "clean and jerk."

Snatching is when a lifter picks weights up directly off the ground and throws the weights overhead, Smith said.

Clean and jerk requires lifters to pick up weights off the ground, momentarily rest them on their chests, and then lift them overhead, he said.

Smith snatched 193 pounds and clean and jerked 237 pounds for a total of 430 pounds, giving him a bronze medal.

Smith placed behind Mike Oliver of Canada, who took second, and Oleg Starikov of Russia, who took first place.

There were lifters from 33 countries who participated in the competition, Smith said.

Smith was one of eight lifters from Minnesota involved in this competition, six of whom returned with medals.

Smith is a science teacher working at Glencoe-Silver Lake. He also formerly taught science at Holy Trinity.

Smith is the son of Gerry and Carol Smith of Howard Lake. His wife is Lori (Boehlke) Smith, formerly of Waverly.

He originally became interested in weightlifting at age 31, while he was teaching at Holy Trinity, Smith said.

Jerry Schmitz of Howard Lake, who was recently featured for his international wrestling accomplishments, also influenced his interest in weightlifting, Smith said.

Another influential person in his life is Scott Safe of Cannon Falls, who encouraged him to pursue lifting, he said.

Smith resides in Silver Lake. He coaches the Glencoe weightlifting club and assists other athletes through weightlifting.

In fact, he has taken young weightlifters to nationals and junior nationals.

Smith encourages anyone interested in the sport to start up, he said. Those who wish more information may call him at (320) 864-2418.

Smith coached the Glencoe weightlifters 2003 Twin Cities/ Glencoe Championships this weekend.

It will be an international event, with many lifters there, Smith said. The public is invited to attend.

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