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American Weightlifting

  NR Closed Captioning

Greg Everett

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About the Movie

American Weightlifting is the story of a sport in turmoil and the athletes and coaches whose passion drives them to succeed despite the odds. Amateur athletes and coaches with little or no financial support struggle to compete with the professionals who dominate the sport internationally. Training in garages, working full time jobs, ignored by the public and the media, American weightlifters and coaches strive to compete with the best in the world. American Weightlifting takes a look at the history and programs of several weightlifting coaches around the country: Mike Burgener, John Thrush, Jim Schmitz, Bob Takano, Kevin Doherty, Paul Doherty, Danny Camargo and Greg Everett. These coaches discuss their backgrounds in the sport, how they have managed to coach in a sport in which there is virtually no money or support, and what they hope to accomplish. Additionally, the movie examines a number of issues with the sport in the US. Internationally, weightlifting is a wildly popular sport with a huge fan base and many athletes are able to train as professionals. The popularity of weightlifting in some of these countries is comparable to football and baseball in the US. Meanwhile, weightlifting in America remains an amateur sport with virtually no financial support or media attention. The top 5 weightlifters in the country are lucky to get $300/month from the US Olympic Committee. American lifters also have to compete against athletes who train without the stringent drug testing policies of USA Weightlifting and USADA, creating an enormous disparity in competition results. Weightlifters in the US nearly all have to work full-time jobs while trying to compete in a sport that by its nature demands complete dedication to training for many years. These athletes make incredible sacrifices in order to pursue their dreams of success in one of the oldest sports in the Olympic games. Our international medalists are ignored and many of the most promising athletes are forced out of the sport because of a lack of money and opportunity, or are drawn away by the allure of fame and money in other sports. American weightlifters prove that true athletes exist—they sacrifice and struggle for nothing more than the love of the sport, not for glory and attention. It’s a movie about the human spirit, dedication & commitment, love for sport, success and failure, the struggle against odds, lineage and legacy, overcoming obstacles, and hope+6

Customer Reviews

Great documentary

This documentary does a great job of showing the struggles American weightlifters go through for their sport and the passion they have for it. Lots of excellent interviews and stories are captured.

My only "complaint" is it is SD only. My understanding is this was started years ago and HD video gear was much more expensive.


I would like to preface this by saying I was never involved in this sport. I have a relative who was extremely involved in this sport on a national and international level and grew up around this sport. Watching this documentary is extremely frustrating because of an extremely uncomfortable amount of bias in this program. There is no mention of women’s weightlifting AT ALL in this documentary. Yes, women’s weightlifting is much smaller than men’s, however the winner of the FIRST WOMEN’S OLYMPIC MEDAL came from the United States, and her name, Tara Nott Cunningham, is not mentioned ONE TIME. Nor does it talk about other prominent women lifters such as Cheryl Hayworth, Robin Byrd Goad, Ursula Garza, or Melanie Roach. Women’s issues aside, This is extremely biased with the weightlifting teams or clubs that it shows. It makes no mention of Kyle Pierce who currently coaches arguably the best weightlifter in the United States, Kendrick Farris and BARELY mentions Farris. This movie also does not mention another prominent male lifter, Shane Hamman, who is one of the most recognizable American lifters, not to mention NBC announcer for the Olympic Games in 2012. How can this documentary claim to be a true representation of the sport, both good and bad, without mentioning some of its biggest and most important players? This documentary, though compelling, leaves much to be desired.

A good Doc

This is a well produced with a slight lower budget feel to it, but in the end it all meshes together. If you like weightlifting then you’ll like American Weightlifting.

American Weightlifting
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  • $14.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2013

Customer Ratings