Harrison Maurus is just 18-years old and is dominating the weightlifting world. His clean & jerk at the World Weightlifting Championships in November 2018 set a new senior American record. The young record-setter is preparing himself for a 2020 Olympic run with Team USA.
Maurus talked with us about how he got into weightlifting, competing in international competition, and more.
KC: Generally, most kids are introduced to weightlifting in order to train for another sport. Was this the case for you as well? If not, how’d you start your weightlifting career?
HM: I used to be a gymnast before I started weightlifting. My gymnastics coach, Kevin Simons, recruited me to do CrossFit. I started doing CrossFit workouts with him. I realized that CrossFit wasn’t for me, but I loved weightlifting.
KC: At what point did you start realizing that this wasn’t just a hobby or something that you were good at, but something that you could compete in internationally?
HM: I started out with powerlifting and went to state and set state records. I then went to nationals and set national records. It was at that point that I realized I liked to be strong and lift weights. There was another transition when I was on my first Pan-American team in 2014. Ever since then, it’s been consistent and what I love.
KC: Speaking of that, how different is it to not only compete for yourself but compete for the United States of America?
HM: It’s a thrill every time I represent my country in competition. There aren’t too many higher accolades you can have. I love being on Team USA and I plan on continuing to represent our country in competition.
KC: I could go through and list all of your accomplishment and records, but we might be here a while. What are you most proud of so far in your career?
HM: It's hard to say because every time I compete, I’m proud of something. It’s something different every time. Winning youth worlds in 2017 was an incredible accomplishment. That was the first time I really highly medaled in international competition. Once you get that podium feeling, you want it again. Both senior worlds were big for me as well. I got bronze in 2017 and it was the first time I medaled in senior competition. I didn’t medal at the 2018 senior worlds, but it was the first time I went six for six in competition.
KC: What are your goals for 2019?
HM: I want to continue to stay ranked on the team and push hard for the Olympics. That’s the goal right now. Staying healthy and working hard.
KC: What does Kill the Quit mean to you?
HM: Just keep going. Don’t let tiredness or stress stop you. You can keep pushing past your efforts.