Nathan Damron is one of America’s best young lifters, and regardless of how he performs in the Junior Pan American Championships this week, the reigning Junior National Champ has built up an impressive resume over the last few years. But Damron — who at roughly 90 kg bodyweight and 19 years old snatches 150 kg and clean & jerks in the 190s — hasn’t been an overnight success. He’s been lifting since his middle school years, as evidenced by this competition footage from when Damron was a 13 year old Youth lifter.
That’s a whopping 75 kilograms, and for a 13 year old kid, it sure as heck isn’t bad (we were more preoccupied with beating the top Minesweeper scores on our homeroom PCs). It’s similar in impressiveness to Harrison Maurus’ stunning transformation from a baby-faced 11 year old to technically proficient and beyond-his-years strong American record holder.
Damron stuck with it, and six years later, he’s one of America’s — if not the AMERICAS, both North and South — top lifters in any age group.
Check out his recent clean & jerk attempt at 195 kilos, taken at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado.
Damron has a bright future ahead of him in weightlifting, and if he can continue his progress and add 10 or so kilos to both his lifts, he won’t just be one of the country’s top young lifters — he’ll be among the best in his weight class (which fluctuates between 85 and 94 kilos, though he seems to be heading toward the top end of that), period. He’s also a ton of fun to follow on social media, going after heavy lifts with a lot of aggression and the #trainstupid attitude he’s become semi-famous for on Instagram.
Damron, along with a number of other young, promising lifters under the tutelage of Travis Mash like Dylan Cooper and Tom Summa, are building a good foundation for an American team that could make a ripple on the international stage between now and the next Olympic cycle.