By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Dalton Christian is a testament that hard work and dedication pays off. Christian, a Princeton High School graduate and current student at Bluefield State College is a world champion weight lifter.
Recently at the World Association of Bench and Dead Lifters (WABDL) Championships in Las Vegas, Christian competed with nearly 700 other lifters and came back to Mercer County with a championship, a national record and a third award for his work.
“I lifted 462.8 kilograms, which is equivalent to 468.2 pounds and won first place, and that lift broke the national collegiate record for my age and weight class,” Christian said. “I also won the Best Lifter Award in my weight division. That was pretty good, a little cherry on top.”
Christian competed in the Class I division, in the 198 pound weight class, and being part of the competition was an exciting adventure for the Princeton native.
“It was a great experience,” Christian said. “It was the first time I had flown, so I was a little nervous about that, but it wasn’t too bad.
“At the competition there were 680-some lifters, a week-long event. Weigh-ins started on Tuesday and it (the competition) didn’t finish until Sunday.”
Christian arrived in Las Vegas on Tuesday, weighed-in Wednesday and lifted on Thursday. It was not until Sunday that he found out that he was the winner in his classification and he was elated when he found out the results.
“I was satisfied, for sure,” Christian said. “I’ve been training for it for almost a year now and it’s such a big relief. All the hard work paid off and I was glad it was over. It was stressful.”
Christian is unsure of his weightlifting future at the present time.
“I’m not really sure yet, I’m going to leave it in God’s hands and let Him direct me in the right path,” Christian said. “I’ve been thinking about it a lot. If I am going to continue lifting, I’m definitely going up in weight class. I’m right at the borderline right now. The cutoff is 198 and I’m about killing myself to stay below that.”
Christian weighed in at the WABDL championships at 194 pounds.
While it was an international competition, most of those involved were from the western United States.
“A lot of the guys were from around Nevada. There were actually a few guys from out-of-country, Finland and Canada, but in the U.S. I was probably the one who traveled the farthest.”
Christian is very grateful and thankful to all who helped him make the trip to Las Vegas and have supported him in his lifting endeavors.
“I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Without him, none of this would be possible,” Christian said. “He has blessed me with a lot of different things. I couldn’t ask for any better friends and family.”
Christian revealed that within the last few months he suffered some injuries, a broken L-5 vertebrae and bulging discs in his back.
“I went to the Orthopedic Center of the Virginias and Dr. Branson and his facility, they’ve really taken care of me a whole lot. I want to thank them and also Willis Chiropractic, Dr. Maxwell, and his employees are really good. They’ve brought me a long way,” Christian pointed out.
An employee of the Princeton Health and Fitness Center, Christian said the facility assisted him in making the trip to Las Vegas.
The most driving force behind his competitiveness, however, is his five year old son.
“He’s my hidden motivation,” Christian said. “He’s really what keeps me going. He’s growing up and I really want to be a role model to him and show him things that he needs to do and just be a great role model for him.”