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West Orange Times & Observer Sunday, May 15, 2022 1 month ago

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Andres Giron

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Giron earned the state championship title at the FHSAA Class 3A State Weightlifting Championships.
by: Andrea Mujica Staff Writer

Andres Giron moved to the United States from Venezuela seven years ago and has since become a force for the Wolverines in football, wrestling and weightlifting. Most recently, he earned the state championship title at the FHSAA Class 3A State Weightlifting Championships. He lifted 305 pounds in the bench and 300 pounds in clean and jerk, for a total of 605 pounds

Tell us a little about your weightlifting season.
From the beginning, I was maybe 50 to 60 pounds under of what I ended, and that was my goal — to get over 600 total. I had a couple issues. I was suspended from a couple meets at the beginning, and it kind of messed up my rhythm.  But once I got everything set, it just started flowing, and by the time districts came, metros and districts, I was already where I wanted to be. I just had to perform. 

You built 50 pounds over the season. How? 
It was a lot of hard work, a lot of consistency, a lot of eating correctly, a lot of training properly and doing everything as best as I could. 

How does it feel to be a state champion?
It’s awesome; I really like it. It’s been great with my family and friends. Everybody has been congratulating me, and it makes me feel really good. Everything that’s happened is thanks to God. I put Him first for everything. I pray before every lift. 

How long have you been weightlifting?
This will be my second year competing. 

What other sports do you play?
Football, and I did wrestling last year. 

What do you enjoy most about being a part of the weightlifting team?
The environment — it’s amazing. Being with all my teammates and all, that is the greatest feeling. Just being cheered on and cheering people on. 

Tell us about the camaraderie among your teammates.
We are really close; we do everything together. Most of the kids who do weightlifting also do football. So, if we are not in the weight room together, we are in the field together, if not we are eating out at Gators or at any restaurant together. 

What positions do you play in football? 
Linebacker and running back, as of now. 

What’s your secret to lifting?
It’s just working really hard. I feel like between me and the other kids (who) won states, we outworked everybody to get there, with consistency and trying to do everything right.

What about competing? 
The pressure. Being able to be like, ‘Am I going to get first this time? Or second? Or third?’ What do I have to do, maybe I have to put more weight than I know I can (lift), and then if I hit it then that’s awesome. If I don’t hit it, I’ll try it again next week. 

What colleges are you considering? 
I would love to go to the University of Florida or the University of Central Florida. 

What would you like to study?
Engineering. I want to study business and finance, as well. That’d be awesome. 

What type of music do you listen to? 
I like Drake’s old albums. I like that a lot. Whatever people listen to, I just listen to, I listen to everything. Before the meets, I tried to listen to more ‘chill’ music to get me settled down and calm. 

What is your favorite food? 
I eat everything. But right now, I’ve been eating just rice, meat, vegetables. Whatever my mom makes; whatever my grandma makes. 

What three places are in your bucket list to visit in the future? 
I never visited El Salto Angel (Angel Falls) in Venezuela; I want to go there really bad. There’s a place in Utah, a really big pool underground. Alaska, I really want to go there. 

If you had a superpower, which one would it be and why?
Super speed. Being super fast like Flash — that’d be dope. 

What’s your favorite thing you learned from coach Olson? 
I’ve learned a lot from him, more so from a character building perspective. Not that much from weightlifting, he taught me the basics on what I needed to do in clean and jerk, squat and all that. But he’s really developed my character in more ways than weightlifting. 

How do you think weightlifting is going to help you in other aspects of life? 
Perseverance and consistency in everything I do. 

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Andrea Mujica is a staff writer for the West Orange Times & Observer, the Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com. She covers sports, news and features. She holds both a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA from the University of Central Florida....

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