SEATTLE - A local Olympian is hopeful he’ll earn a spot on the podium in Tokyo, Japan this summer. But the path from Auburn, Washington to the Olympics didn't start with weightlifting for this record-holding athlete.
Harrison Maurus is headed to Tokyo as a member of the U.S. Olympic Weightlifting team. For the 21-year-old Auburn native, his journey started in a different kind of gym than the one he uses now.
"I would say the majority of weightlifters come in from other sports. I know other gymnasts in here. I know soccer players, cheerleaders, a couple of those on the team," said Harrison.
As part of an impressive resume, the one-time gymnast now holds ten American weightlifting records. It all stems from his parents, Jim and Tracey, who were just looking for an activity for their son to do during his childhood.
"He got into gymnastics because he was a little hurricane," said Jim. "He was everywhere, so we had to find something."
"It was a really good outlet and he had a really good coach in gymnastics," adds Tracey.
When talking about his journey to weightlifting, Harrison says he sort of fell into the sport.
"I kind of fell into this sport accidentally…And, when I quit gymnastics, my first weightlifting coach was also my gymnastics coach," said Harrison.
From there, he transitioned to powerlifting, and, it didn’t take long for Harrison to get noticed.
Jim shows off medals of his son’s accomplishments, saying "This is his first powerlifting medal at Washington State championships, where he set all the records for a 12-year-old on his 12th birthday."
Now, nine years later Harrison is officially an Olympic weightlifter.
"My ultimate goal is to represent the United States to the best of my ability when it comes down and hopefully bring home a medal. That’s the plan. It’s always the plan," said Harrison.
The Auburn-Riverside grad’s parents say to get to this point, Harrison has always just followed what he’s been told.
"Harrison’s just always listened to his coach. He often still says, they tell me what to lift and I go lift it. I know it’s going to be heavy," said Jim.
Harrison says with confidence and excitement that he’s ready to compete in this summer's Olympics.
"I’m just really excited that I have the chance to do this…I’m ready to go," said Harrison.
The Tokyo Olympic Games are set to begin on July 23rd.
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