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Weightlifting: Canby man Roger Moore, 85, breaks world record in bench press

The longtime area resident sets a new standard for his age group and weight class at a sanctioned event in Portland.


by: JEFF GOODMAN / FILE - Canby resident Roger Moore, 85, set a world bench-press record for his age group and weight class March 15 in Portland during a sanctioned weightlifting competition.When the weightlifting competition was over, Roger Moore could call himself something he could never before: a world record-holder.

The 85-year-old Canby man set a new standard for his age group and weight class by bench-pressing slightly more than 170 pounds March 15 at the Shilo Inns hotel near Portland’s airport.

According to the World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters, which sanctions weightlifting competitions around the globe, Moore’s recent lift broke the record of 161.9 pounds that California resident Robert Fornachon established in 2012.

Moore’s mark is now the official world record for 85- to 89-year-old men in the 165-pound weight class.

“It feels good,” he said of the accomplishment. “But my biggest encouragement — I just got a card that says, ‘You’re an inspiration,’ and that’s the part that makes me the happiest, having the influence on other people to get them to stay in shape. You can live maybe not longer, but better. Winning is fun and all that, but the other part is equal or better.”

***

Moore is no stranger to weightlifting success.

At a WABDL event last June, he set a state record for the 80-84 age group and 165-pound weight class with a lift of 171.8 pounds.

He’s been pumping iron for decades.

Born in 1928, he took up weightlifting after serving in World War II as a member of the U.S. Merchant Marine.

He put the hobby on the backburner as he raised a family, working in Portland at a regional office of the U.S. Forest Service.

He moved from the Estacada area to Canby in 1974, and all of his children — Matt, Paul, Kim and Cindy — attended Canby High School. He has another son, Jim, from a previous marriage.

Moore, who currently works in distribution for Bold Ideas, has rekindled his love of lifting over the last 20 years. He frequently exercises at Club Fit and occasionally participates in sanctioned competitions.

Last year, after setting the state record, Moore considered a trip to Reno, Nev., for the world championships.

“I decided against it because I didn’t want to spend the money,” he said. “It’ll be the same this year. I can go (to the WABDL world event in Las Vegas in November) because I qualified, but I probably won’t because I don’t want to spend that kind of money.”

***

Among the 130-or-so men and women of all ages at the recent weightlifting event in Portland, Moore stood out — and not simply because he was the only entrant for his age and weight class.

Moore benched a world-record weight on his first lift, and he broke his own record on his second lift.

The octogenarian said his performance would not have been possible without his spotter, Ron Hawkins, who has been his workout buddy for about 25 years.

“He pushes me,” Moore said.

In addition to earning a trophy for his standout performance, Moore was honored as the best 61-and-over lifter. He received a samurai sword.

“That was kind of neat,” he said.

But the always-humble Moore doesn’t believe he’s worthy of attention for his weightlifting ability, and he’s quick to point out his limits. He doesn’t compete in deadlifting, which is also sanctioned by the WABDL.

“You can only beat your back up so much,” he said.



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