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article imageSan Francisco weightlifting club aims for Olympic Gold Special

By Jonathan Farrell     Apr 8, 2014 in Sports
San Francisco - As the recent excitement surrounding this year's Winter Olympics went into a fever pitch, Abraham Lincoln High School coach and teacher Kevin Doherty was among the many cheering on the American teams.
He cheers and rallies because he aims and hopes for the gold for each and everyone of his students. Along with his coaching and teaching duties at Lincoln High, in San Francisco's Sunset District, Doherty is the owner and manager of Hassle Free Barbell Club. With two locations, one in the Sunset District near the high school and the other managed by his brother in Sacramento, the weightlifting club is a training ground.
When this reporter talked to Doherty he was very pleased with the competition the club participated in on March 7 at the Crown Plaza in Foster City. "The best are from Lincoln High," he said.
D Angelo Osorio  the Junior American Record holder in the 94kg class of the Men s division that week...
D'Angelo Osorio, the Junior American Record holder in the 94kg class of the Men's division that weekend on March 7 to 9, 2014 at the Crown Plaza in Foster City, CA. One of many local, regional and national competitions, weightlifting is an olympic sport that is taken very seriously. Along with Osorio is chiropractic neurologist and sports medicine specialist, Dr. Christopher DeMartini. "The guy in the red shirt is Kevin Doherty, the coach and the meet director for the competition as well as the
Courtesy of Dr. Christopher DeMartini, D.C.
Doherty explained further, “the Hassle Free Invitational was a Youth, Junior and Senior Pan American qualifier and that the Pan Am Championships are the precursor to the World Championships and then the Olympics.”
And, what made Doherty even more pleased was that representatives from the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado were present. "This was the Pan-American qualifier for the Olympics," he added. "Our group from Lincoln High has produced five weightlifting competitors for that qualifier," Doherty said. Presently, “we have six members from our team at the Olympic Training Center either full time or part time,” added Doherty.
"This really means a lot to Kevin and I am very honored to have been there that weekend," said Dr. Christopher DeMartini, D.C. As a Chiropractic Neurologist and a sports medicine specialist, he was there to provide first aid and moral support for the team. DeMartini reached out to Doherty to volunteer his expertise because he is so impressed with the work that Doherty is doing with the kids and of his passion for weightlifting.
DeMartini is an alum of Saint Ignatius High School who understands the importance of Olympic qualifiers. "I was part of the weightlifting team at The Sports Palace, a weightlifting Mecca in San Francisco that produced Olympians from 1972 to 1996 including a silver medalist, said DeMartini and I had the opportunity to be admitted to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado." "To have representatives from Colorado there at the competition was really important." "And, to have local competitors being considered for Olympic status that is something special," he said.
DeMartini knows because like the group from Lincoln High, he too had his sights on the Olympics. That was his heart-set goal, until an injury changed all that and set him on course for the career he has now as a Chiropractic Neurologist. "Competition is not easy and the susceptibility for injury is always present," he said.
Realizing the odds Doherty noted, "competition is very hard and I help them to ensure the students don't hurt themselves," On average, Doherty oversees about 250 students a year who aim to compete and that includes both men and women. The goal, Doherty explained is to have a team member lift the most weight in their particular class or division. "There are eight men's divisions and seven women's divisions," he said.
There are competitions at many levels local, regional, national and of course at the World Championship level. Taking in so many (like 250 more or less) seems like a lot to coach, yes. "Yet that eventually narrows down to about two who actually reach it to the finals," he said.
With chalk still on his hands from lifting weights in the competition held in Foster City on the wee...
With chalk still on his hands from lifting weights in the competition held in Foster City on the weekend of March 7 to 9, 2014, D'Angelo Osorio, is congratulated by sports medicine attendant Dr. Christopher DeMartini, D.C. Osorio achieved the Junior American Record holder in the 94kg class of the men's weightlifting division. Osorio like the others there at the competition that weekend in March are aiming for Olympic gold.
Courtesy of Dr. Christopher DeMartini, D.C.
Doherty mentioned that in addition to hard work, and the ability to recover from strain and injury," 90 percent of making it to the professional and Olympic level is attitude," said Doherty. "The students have to be tough and eager to aim for the gold, I can't teach that," he said. "Yet we are very fortunate to have a huge pool of talented athletes in our midst." For more than a decade Doherty has coached and trained many aiming for the Olympics. "That is really my only coaching goal at this point, is to get one of ours to the Olympics by 2016," said Doherty.
For more information the Lincoln High School weightlifting team and the Hassle Free Barbell Club visit the club's web site.
More about San Francisco, California, Olympics, Weightlifting, lincoln high school
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