#OurAthletes: Darryl Conrad snatches spot in Pan Am Games

Winnipegger Darryl Conrad is preparing to represent Canada – and Manitoba – at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto.

In 2014, Conrad changed gyms, coaches, weight classes to compete in the 77 kg category

Darryl Conrad is looking to break his personal records of 131 kgs in the snatch competition and 159 kgs in the clean and jerk. (CBC)

Winnipegger Darryl Conrad is preparing to represent Canada – and Manitoba – at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto.

At 30, Conrad is only just beginning his career as a weightlifter after he started training at 23. 

In 2007 as a bobsled athlete, Conrad was originally part of Canada's Own the Podium program, meant to encourage success for Canada's athletes at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. At that point he was told he was too short for bobsled, so he moved on to skeleton, but developed tendonitis from the sprinting. And so Conrad stuck with competitive weightlifting.

Conrad has been called 'Pipes' for years by friends and family, in a somewhat ironic fashion.

"It's for my arms but for the opposite reason. When I was a teenager, I had pipe cleaners for arms," Conrad told CBC's Information Radio.

"I love the competitiveness of [weightlifting] and the fact that you're by yourself. You have to rely on yourself to get the job done. No one else is going to get it done for you. And you get what you give in terms of the sport." 

In the fall of 2014, Conrad took his training in a new direction. He changed gyms and coaches and dropped a weight category which meant he had to become more strict with his diet, he said, only allowing two "garbage meals" a week. "Garbage" includes some of his favourites like ribs, mashed potatoes or his mother's home-made rhubarb crisp.

Conrad is aiming to set some new personal records at the games in Toronto, with his competition slated for July 13. That will mean lifting more than 131 kilograms in the snatch competition and 159 kilograms in the clean and jerk.


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