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Steve Swistak.



Could you lift and hold over 300 pounds above your head? Weight lifter weight·lift·er or weight lift·er  
n.
One who lifts heavy weights for exercise or in an athletic competition.

weight lifter nlevantador(a) m/f de pesas 
 Steve Swistak can! Steve is a resident athlete at the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area.  Olympic Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado The City of Colorado Springs is the second most populous city (after Denver) in the state of Colorado and the 48th most populous city in the United States.[4] The city is the county seat of El Paso County. . He ranks fifth on the United States Weight Lifting weight lifting, international sport, also a training technique for athletes in other sports. From the earliest times men have lifted weights as a test of strength.  Junior Squad and has won silver and bronze medals in national and international tournaments.

Steve started lifting weights when he was eleven. His dad, a weight lifter from Poland, set up weights in the family garage in Sayreville, New Jersey Sayreville is a borough located on the Raritan River, near Raritan Bay in Middlesex County, New Jersey. As of the United States 2000 Census, the borough population was 40,377. . He taught Steve, his older sister, and a few other kids about Olympic weight lifting.

Steve won the first competition he entered. "That was a pretty good start," he says. "When you're twelve, and you win a medal, it fires you up. I kept lifting and going to competitions. I kept getting better and stronger."

Steve played basketball and baseball in high school. In the summers, he went to weight lifting camps. "I started to get pretty good at the sport," says Steve. "I decided to give it one hundred percent of my attention."

So at fifteen, Steve dropped all other sports except weight lifting. Soon, he made the National Junion Squad. After he graduated from high school in 1993, Steve was invited to become a resident athlete at the Olympic Training Center.

Life at the Olympic Training Center

"The Olympic Training Center is the ideal place to train," says Steve. "We have the best coaches. We have top-of-the-line everything."

Steve's coaches are Leo Leo, in astronomy
Leo [Lat.,=the lion], northern constellation lying S of Ursa Major and on the ecliptic (apparent path of the sun through the heavens) between Cancer and Virgo; it is one of the constellations of the zodiac.
 Totten and United States National Coach Dragomir Ciroslan. The United States Olympic Committee “USOC” redirects here. For USOC in telephony, see registered jack.

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is a non-profit organization that serves as the National Olympic Committee (NOC) for the United States and coordinates the relationship between the
 pays for Steve's food and housing, while the United States Weight Lifting Federation pays for his tuition at the University of Colorado University of Colorado may refer to:
  • University of Colorado at Boulder (flagship campus)
  • University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
  • University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center
  • University of Colorado system
.

Training with the ten other resident weight lifters helps Steve. "At home, I'd be training by myself, and I wouldn't have as much enthusiasm," he says.

Two Lifts in Competitive Weight Lifting

Two basic lifts make up competitive weight lifting: the "snatch snatch

removal of a newborn animal from the dam before it has an opportunity to suck. The objective is to rear it independently and free of colostrum-borne infection or of colostral antibodies.
" and the "clean-and-jerk." Both require strength, speed, and coordination.

Of the two, the snatch is the more difficult lift. The lifter picks up the barbell Barbell

A bond investment strategy that concentrates holdings in both very short-term and extremely long-term maturities. This is also known as the "dumbbell" or "barbelling.
 from the floor and thrusts it overhead without stopping. He holds the bar with his arms extended above him. After he stands motionless for a few seconds, the referee give the "down" signal. Steve's top score in the snatch is almost 300 pounds.

For the clean-and-jerk, the lifter raises the barbell from the floor to shoulder level and pauses. (This is the "clean.") Then in one motion, he thrusts the weight overhead with arms outstretched out·stretch  
tr.v. out·stretched, out·stretch·ing, out·stretch·es
To stretch out; extend.


outstretched
Adjective
. (This is the "jerk.") Again, the lifter stands motionless until the referee gives the "down" signal.

Because the lifter pauses at the shoulders, he's in a better position to lift heavier weights in the clean-and-jerk. That's why it is called the "king of lifts." Steve has lifted a whopping 363 and three-quarter pounds in the clean-and-jerk. That's like lifting two large men!

The weight lifted on each lift is added together for the total score. When Steve was twelve, his total score for the two lifts was about 121 pounds. By age nineteen, his best combined score was 655 and three-quarter pounds.

Steve's "See Food" Diet

Steve is six feet, one inch tall and weighs 215 pounds. Much of that weight is muscle. "I'm still growing," Steve says. Steve's goal is to weigh 245 pounds by the end of his career. Then he'll be in the top weight class.

"I'm on a `see food' diet," says Steve. "Anything I see, I can eat Some lifters aren't as lucky. They may have to drop weight to stay in their weight class.

Strength in the legs, back, and shoulders is more important than size in weight lifting. "You don't have to be big and bulky as long as you're strong enough to lift in your class," says Steve.

During each day's two-hour morning workout Workout

Informal repayment or loan forgiveness arrangement between a borrower and creditors.


workout

1. The process of a debtor's meeting a loan commitment by satisfying altered repayment terms.
, Steve and other Olympic lifters do strength-building exercises. During the afternoon workout, lifters practice the two basic lifts for another two hours.

The "How-To" of Weight Lifting

Coaches work closely with the weight lifters to help them improve their techniques. "Perfecting your technique is the best way to prevent injury," says Steve.

Sports experts study each movement to see what kind of stress it places on the body "You're moving so fast that you can't always see what you're doing wrong," he adds.

Weight lifting takes discipline. "You can't take time off in weight lifting," says Steve. "If you do, you lose your touch. There is no off season. But weight lifters can cut down on the amount of time spent lifting."

Steve takes part in about five competitions each year. Last year, Steve qualified for the Junior World Championships in Warsaw, Poland. Because his parents are from Poland, Steve not only speaks fluent Polish but also has lots of relatives there.

"I may have had more people cheering for me than the Polish team," he quips.

Study, Listen, and Learn

Steve suggests that kids who are interested in weight lifting read about the sport and watch it whenever they can. If they decide they'd like to try weight lifting, they will need to find a good coach.

"If you start weight lifting without instruction, you could be injured in·jure  
tr.v. in·jured, in·jur·ing, in·jures
1. To cause physical harm to; hurt.

2. To cause damage to; impair.

3.
," says Steve. "It's easier to learn the technique when you're young. You're more flexible, and you haven't formed any bad habits bad habit Unhealthy habit Clinical medicine A patterned behavior regarded as detrimental to physical or mental health, which is often linked to a lack of self-control. Cf Good habit.  yet."

Steve is grateful to his parents for their support and encouragement. "If it hadn't been for them, I wouldn't be here. If it hadn't been for my father, I would never have become interested in this sport. He's always pushed me to reach for the next level."

Steve Swistak feels it's important to have goals to work toward. His present goals include making the national team and competing in Sydney, Australia, in the 2000 Olympic games Olympic games, premier athletic meeting of ancient Greece, and, in modern times, series of international sports contests. The Olympics of Ancient Greece


Although records cannot verify games earlier than 776 B.C.
.
COPYRIGHT 1995 Benjamin Franklin Literary & Medical Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Faces in Sports; weight lifter
Author:Josephson, Judith P.
Publication:Children's Digest
Article Type:Biography
Date:Dec 1, 1995
Words:970
Previous Article:Young Author's Story.
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