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January 28, 2007

Uplifting

Norman man's training results have made him known all around the region

By Michael Kinney

Transcript Sports Writer

Tucked inside Bob White's west Norman home is a sanctuary of sorts. It's a room where the 74-year-old engineer doesn't think about his battle with cancer or the business he owns. It's also not a library, office or study.

When White is ready to get down to serious business, he heads for his home gym.

"It's probably the top training center in the 300 miles surrounding Norman," White said. "People come from Texas to train there."

Despite the fact he could be mistaken for a greeter at Wal-Mart, White is considered by many to be one of the preeminent Olympic weightlifting coaches in America.

"Anyone who is interested in becoming an overall better athlete, this is the kind of training you have to do," said two-time Olympian and Muskogee native Shane Hamman. "And there is not very many people around that know how to train like this. You have to have done it to be able to teach it. And Bob is someone who has done it."

White is the coach for the Metro Weightlifting Club in Norman. The club competed in the Texas State weightlifting Championship Jan. 20 in Austin. All six lifters went away with gold medals.

"This is the first time in the history of the Texas championships that an Oklahoma team has won such a number of medals," said White, who owns the environmental company Professional Earth Services Incorporated.

But, what is even more amazing is the training ground for the team's success is White's home gym.

"The things that he has learned, along with his engineering background, which is what he does, he develops some amazing training techniques," Hamman said. "So I really love to come over and just watch him and see what he does with these kids."

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