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Yates takes the gold in national competition

Yates stands on the first place podium proudly after winning three gold medals in a national weightlifting competition in Orlando, Florida. Submitted photo.

By Meg Dickens
Staff Writer

Most people in the area probably know Alan Yates for his real estate business, his music, or even his new business, Mountain City Suds. Now Yates is making headlines for his athletic prowess after bringing home the gold from a national championship in Orlando, Florida. Yates brought home a total of three gold medals at the USA Weightlifting Master’s National Championship hosted earlier this month.

Yates is relatively new to the weightlifting game. He gained interest near the end of November 2019 and started training under another local national champion, Adam Williams. Yates started competing that January in Charlotte, North Carolina. Last year, he competed in the 2020 USA Weightlifting Master’s National Championship in September and brought home a silver medal.

“It really changed my life,” Yates told The Tomahawk. “I would highly recommend it to anyone regardless of age or ability.”

With weightlifting, participants are divided into categories based on age and weight. Yates fell within the 60 to 64 age group and 102-kilo weight class. He competed in Olympic Lifting, which consists of two separate lifts: the Snatch and Clean and Jerk. He placed first in both with 184.8 lbs and 226 lbs lifts, respectively. He also received an additional medal for his overall lift weight of 410.8 lbs.

According to Yates, COVID-19 has had an impact on the sport. The majority of competitions have been held virtually or canceled. The championship this March was the first live competition in more than a year, he explained. Virtual competitions were judged via video by a panel of judges.

When asked about his plans, Yates said he aspires to compete in the Pan-Am Games held in Orlando from August 4 through 8 and continue competing. The 2022 Master’s for next year will take place on April 20 through 24 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and be followed by an in-person world championship in December.