After annihilating all of his athletic goals by the wee age of 11, Washington-native Harrison Maurus found weightlifting. Today, July 12, 2021, he’s on a flight to Tokyo to compete on the biggest stage in the world at the 2021 Olympics. So we asked him a few questions, and here are his answers.
- Height: 5’7”
- Weight: 81Kg
- Age: 21
- Hometown: Auburn, Washington
- Gym: Power and Grace Performance, Georgia
- How’d you get started in weightlifting? I was initially a gymnast from age 7-11, then transitioned immediately into powerlifting for 1-2 years but I capped out really quickly. I went to state and set all the state records, and then I went right to Nationals and set all the national records. It was me and one other kid and I beat the guy and thought, “Well, I guess I’m done here.” Then around age 12 I switched to competitive weightlifting and I’ve been doing that ever since.
- Was going to the olympics always your goal? I think the Olympics were always the ultimate goal, I just didn’t know if they were going to be 2020 or 2024 olympics. But they were always the end game.
- What role did your parents or support system play? I think support systems are super crucial to success. My parents have been awesome my entire career. They’ve always facilitated pretty much anything I’ve needed to be able to keep training. And of course my team out here is always super supportive and they make going every day a pleasure. Also my sponsors, like you guys, have always had my back and kept me going.
- How did the pandemic affect your perspective or your training? Thankfully we were able to keep training in a safe and socially distanced manner that was approved by the local government, so we were able to continue. We’ve all just used the last year to get better and saw it as another year to improve that we wouldn’t have otherwise had. So I like to think we’ve all used the last year beneficially and we’re in a better spot than we would have been otherwise. We tried to keep it straight and narrow.
- What does an average day look like for you, and how if at all has it changed with Tokyo on the horizon? A normal day: I get up, eat breakfast, head to the gym around 9:30. I train from 9:30 - 11:30a and come back for lunch. I head back to the gym around 3:30 and then train again from about 5:30 or 6, come home, eat dinner, sleep and repeat. Thursday is my rest day and I train once on Saturday morning.
- How do you manage your nutrition, or do you trust someone else to do that for you? There’s a nutritionist on staff at USA Weightlifting that has been in charge of my nutrition. In general, I tend to be underweight so I really don’t watch what I eat, other than trying to make sure what I do eat is of good quality. But the amount is based on trying to get enough to keep my weight up and the dietician has been great with that. And it’s tiring to eat this much! I have to eat like 5-6 meals a day and consume probably 3500-4000 calories. In general, eating isn’t my favorite thing to do so it’s a lot of work! People are like “cry me a river,” but it’s a whole thing.
- After you’ve won, are there any other events you’re most excited to watch? They actually won’t let us. We’re under quarantine, so you had to submit an action plan with your location pretty much all day every day, and the Japanese government will come find you if you deviate from it. That said, I won’t be going anywhere. And they fly us out the day after, so after I compete I’ll be home within 48 hours.
As far as he knows, Harrison will compete and represent the USA on the 31st of July. He doesn’t know what time, because he just “shows up when and where they tell [me] to,” but we’ll post updates on our Instagram feed so everyone can witness this humble, hard-working, athletic anomaly achieve his dreams.