BYU grad wins Utah State Olympic Weight Lifting Championship

2014 Nicole Pace Photography
Taylor Chiu was coached by his father, former BYU weightlifting champion David Chiu and spends his time in the gym 3-4 days a week. (Nicole Pace)

BYU grad Taylor Chiu placed first at the April 2015 Utah State Olympic Weight Lifting Championship in the 94 kg weight class.

The Olympic Weight Lifting Championship consists of two heavy lifts, the snatch and the clean and jerk. The snatch is performed by lifting a weighted barbell from the ground to an overhead position in one continuous motion.

Chiu won his first-place medal in the 94 kg weight class with a 120 kg (264 lbs) snatch lift and a 155 kg (341 lbs) clean and jerk lift, obtaining a combined score of 275 kg (606 lbs).

The clean and jerk is a two-part motion that first involves lifting a weighted barbell from the ground to a racked position across the top of the chest. The second motion involves lifting the weighted barbell from the racked position to an overhead position and then straightening the arms and legs while adjusting the legs to be on an even plane with the barbell.

Each contestant is allowed three attempts at each lift, with the best attempt on each lift combining to make a composite score. The contestant with the highest composite score wins the event.

“Oh, it wasn’t that much,” Chiu said, “just hitting the gym three to four times a week.”

Chiu was coached by his father, a former collegiate nationals Olympic weight lifting champion for BYU. The newest champion has been practicing Olympic weight lifting off and on for the past 12 years.

“Between serving a mission, courting my wife and studying at BYU,” Chiu said, “I haven’t had much time to focus on lifting until recently.”

The 2015 USA Weightlifting National University Championships will be held September 24–27 at Weber State University in Ogden.

“I haven’t decided yet whether or not I will participate,” Chiu said.

Chiu served a mission to Thailand in 2009 and graduated from BYU with a degree in information systems in 2014. He plans to take the next year off to travel the world with his wife. Their travels will take them through about 30 countries.

The Utah State Olympic Weight Lifting Championship was held at Fit Con Utah in the South Towne Exposition Center. The event hosts a variety of different venues including keynote speakers, cooking demonstrations, informational seminars and weightlifting competitions.

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