The Norman Transcript

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January 21, 2013

Powerlifting plays big role in life of 80-year-old White

(Continued)

NORMAN —

There is no off-color language allowed, nothing but encouragement of each other. There also are no charges. His pay is in seeing the young people grow stronger.

By the time they come in the afternoon, White has completed his own training so he can give each young person personal attention. They encourage each other, and enjoy the honors others receive as documented on the walls and doors in the garage-turned-gym.

Many are a part of the Metro Weightlifting Club, “one of the top clubs in this part of the US,” White says. The photos of his athletes wearing gold medals attest to their successes in competition.

Riley Nolan, a student at Missouri Southern, is the seventh ranked weightlifter in the U.S., and worked out at the gym while home for the holidays. Amy DeLuca, who graduated from Norman North last year, works out to keep in shape for the next competition.

“My goal is the nationals,” she said while taking a break from working on her clean and jerk and snatch techniques.

Beau Blankenship, a Norman North graduate who started working with White as a ninth grader, now is a running back for the Ohio University Bobcats.

“He helped me get to where I am,” Blankenship said, citing the Olympic style training he received in White’s gym as instrumental in his developing strength.

White, who has won his share of medals as a senior weightlifter, is training for the Pan American Games and World Championship World Games in Torino, Italy, this summer.

He still works in the engineering firm he established in 1970 after a 20-year stint as OU’s chief engineer, a career marked by twice being named OU Employee of the Year. His personal business ventures have had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

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