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Amateur Athlete: Shane Sevcik

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MEDFORD, Ore. — The clean and jerk, and the snatch are two lifts Shane Sevcik works on every day.

“I love the challenge, Sevcik said. “I love how fun it was, and I was pretty good at it. Naturally when you’re pretty good at it and you like it, you’re going to focus on it a lot more.”

That focus led to breaking records. Sevcik is the Oregon record holder in the Master’s Division for Olympic Weightlifting. He set the mark at an event in Sisters in February.

“I knew if I hit the numbers that I wanted to I would set a state record,” said Sevcik.

Setting records was never Sevcik’s intention.

“I had no idea that Olympic weightlifting is a sport,” said Sevcik. “I just wasn’t exposed to it.”

He started lifting again to soothe an aching back. A weightlifting injury from college left Sevcik with two ruptured discs in his back, and when he stopped working out in his mid-20s, his health deteriorated.

“I got fat. I started to get out of shape,” said Sevcik. “At that time, I was right at about 30 years old. I ballooned up to about 305-306 pounds, and my back was hurting real bad again, and they had me on a pain regimen where I was taking 6-8 Vicodin a day.”

His doctors suggested surgery, but Sevcik didn’t want to go that route, so he joined the Crossfit Gym in Medford.

“He’s about two months from back surgery, and he came to us out of shape, needing to lose a few pounds,” said Austin Stack, “and he basically worked hard and slowly progressed and started to lose some weight and didn’t need to have back surgery which is a success story in itself right there.”

“I’m now competing because I want to win,” said Sevcik, “but it feels great to know that what I’m doing every day that’s competitive and keeps my drive and keeps me hungry is also keeping me in really good shape. It’s keeping me off the surgeon’s table. I have no back pain anymore whatsoever.”

In April, Sevcik will compete at the National Olympic Weightlifting Competition. There, he could qualify for the World Championships in Denmark. All he has to do is lift what he did in Sisters, but even if he doesn’t, he’s still pain free, and that is his success.