Two St. Cloud weightlifting athletes are competing in international events in December

Editor's note: One person in this story, Keven Morales, is a native Spanish speaker. The Times translated his statements to English.

Darin Vossen and Keven Morales, two weightlifting athletes training in St. Cloud, are both competing in two international weightlifting events in December.

Morales, 30, who is from Puerto Rico, qualified for the North American Open Finals in Atlanta after winning the Minnesota Open in October and set a state record in the Clean and Jerk and Total in the process. Morales has listed an opening total attempt for the North American Open of 305 kg which is close to 700 lbs.

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"I've been lifting for 15 years," Morales said. "It's a great sport. I've played baseball, basketball, but weightlifting is more interesting because it makes you strong."

He has lived in St. Cloud for four months and has been training at the Omni Training Facility in Waite Park.

Vossen, 40, will be heading to Orlando to compete Dec. 7 at the International Weightlifting Federation's (IWF) Masters Weightlifting World Championships. He qualified for the world championship by winning the national championship in April and will now be to attempting a world record in his age group.

Darin Vossen lifting barbell
Darin Vossen lifting barbell

There are two lifts that he would need to do. One is a snatch where the lifter takes the barbell from the floor to an overhead position in one single motion. The clean and jerk motion is when the barbell is raised to shoulder height, held momentarily, and then quickly thrust overhead with a lunge or a spring from the legs.

Vossen said he is thinking about retiring from olympic level lifting after upcoming IWF international championship competition.

"It takes a lot to cut my weight to where I need to be on the international level," he said. "I'll still compete locally but I will focus more on coaching my kids and lifting with them versus committing more of my time."

Vossen added that part of what he does to maintain his weight in "not a fun experience. Lots of cans of tuna and broccoli. Not fun way to live your life."

This was announced in a press release from last week by Omni Training Facility. Both events will be live-streamed for people to watch. Details are provided on their website and social media pages.

This article originally appeared on St. Cloud Times: St. Cloud weightlifters competing in international events next month