Wichita Falls_Mary McGregor, a national champion weightlifter from Wichita Falls, is now a world champion. She won her age group at the International Masters Championship in Greece. Masters weightlifting is for people 35 and older, and McGregor is 60! She holds six US records, and now has three world records.
In a lift called "the snatch," she lifted 95 pounds, and in the "clean and jerk," she lifted 139 pounds - for a combined total of 234 pounds. McGregor broke the previous world record for 60-year-olds by 43 pounds.
This is an update - the original KSWO 7News story is below.
This year's Olympics have passed, but the spirit of international competition continues. A Wichita Falls athlete is traveling to Greece to compete in the World Masters Weightlifting Championship, which starts on Friday.
Mary McGregor has won two national championships, holds six American weightlifting records - and, she's 60 years old! "I was 54 and I wanted to lose weight, so I hired a trainer at a local gym," The trainer was impressed by her strength, and suggested she go tot the room where the weightlifting team worked out so she could use their equipment. "The first time I did it I kind of lost my balance," she said. "But the second time I did it - I did it. He [trainer] said, ‘Well, you're moving back here,' and it's been Olympic weightlifting every since."
McGregor joined the Wichita Falls Weightlifting Club, and is its oldest member. The youngest member is seven. "Most of the problems that people associate with starting a physical activity when your in your fifties, or at least older, she doesn't really have," said weightlifting coach Glenn Pendlay. McGregor is a chemical dependency counselor by day, and she trains three afternoons per week. She says she loves the responses she gets. "A lot of people can't believe it," she said. "They say, ‘You're doing what?' Not a lot of 60-year-old women can do what I'm doing."
To lift the weights, McGregor does a "snatch" - a lift from the ground to above her head in a single move. The other is a "clean and jerk" - the clean lifts the weights to her shoulders, and the jerk jumps the bar above her head. She has lifted about 100 pounds in the "snatch" and 135 pounds in the "clean and jerk" - both US records for women of her age and weight. "Mary lifts like she's 18," said Pendlay. "I mean, when somebody looks at her doing the lifts, that's the way they're supposed to be done. I really like coaching someone like that."
McGregor still is decades away from being the oldest competitor at the championships. The oldest woman this year is 70 years old, and the oldest man is 86. She says she will continue to lift until she can't anymore. Weightlifting is also good for her health. Her doctor says that as long as she keeps lifting, she won't have to worry about osteoporosis. We'll let you know how she does in the competition.
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