Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Realistically, He Could Win the Silver; He Got Gold

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Realistically, He Could Win the Silver; He Got Gold

Article excerpt

After 20 years of sweat, it all came down to one lift.

John Sposato knew he had placed in the top three of the U.S.

National Masters Olympic Weight Lifting Championships in

Savannah, but it wasn't until a stranger -- someone else's

trainer -- approached him that the Mandarin resident realized

how close he was to winning.

"It's up to you," the trainer told Sposato at the April 14

competition. "What do you want? Gold or silver?"

Sposato, 39, never thought he'd be in this position 20 years

ago when a friend at Youngstown State University in Ohio and

former Olympic weightlifter got the 19-year-old hooked on the

sport.

"I always enjoyed strong figures, the Biblical figures like

Sampson," Sposato said. "Their strength always fascinated me."

His fascination turned into a strong devotion to a sport made

up of two lifts, the clean-and-jerk, in which the lifter brings

the weight to his shoulders before lifting it overhead, and the

snatch, in which the weight must be lifted overhead in one move.

It's not bodybuilding, in which sculpted men and women display

their bodies in various poses. Posing never appealed to the

217-pound operations analyst at Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Performing strong feats did, even though there's a chance for

injury when lifting an enormous amount of weight. About three

years ago, Sposato hurt his shoulder trying to do the snatch in

a state competition. It hasn't been the same since, but it

hasn't deterred him from going on either.

"Hard to believe what he'd be like at 100 percent," said Garey

Chrones, the owner and manager of Steel Mill Gym on Old St.

Augustine Road in Mandarin, where Sposato works out four times a

week.

"A guy wonders how long he can hold it together," Sposato said.

"Here I am, at 39, and I'm stronger than ever. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.