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Utah teen heading to world powerlifting championships

Nov 2, 2023, 3:31 PM

HOLLADAY — A high school athlete didn’t let a career-ending concussion stop him from competing – in another sport.

During Ryan Moffat’s long road to recovery, he developed a real passion for powerlifting.

Today, the 18-year-old hopes to make his mark in the sport at the World Powerlifting Championships in Manchester, England.

Moffat played football, lacrosse, and wrestled for Olympus High School. His junior year, that all changed.

“I got a concussion my junior year playing football. It was devastating.” 

His mom Tammy will never forget that day. She could tell in her son’s eyes something was wrong.  

“I was scared because he had several concussions before.” 

Moffat endured constant headaches and battled depression. He’d spend most of the year out of school and in vision therapy to regain the focus of his eyes and brain.

“He lost his whole sense of identity with those sports and so we were eager as parents to fill that with meaning and purpose,” John Moffat, Ryan’s dad, said.  

Instead of giving up, Moffat picked up powerlifting.  

“After the concussion, I just wanted to find another way to compete and push myself physically,” Ryan Moffat said.  

He set a world record in the deadlift for his age and weight group – lifting 611 pounds. He also holds the national record for the squat.

Up next, the world championships.

“I’ve loved it,” Moffat said. “It’s really helped kinda get over the loss of all my other sports and everything.”  

His mom said it’s his nature to power through with positivity.

“I thought, I can’t be prouder of my son for picking himself up motivating himself after this devastation of who he truly thought he was as an athlete,” Moffat’s mom said.

At the world championship in Manchester, Moffat hopes to keep the world record with the deadlift and set a new world record with the squat. He deferred his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to December 11 so he can compete.

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Utah teen heading to world powerlifting championships