A mark of greatness in anything is not only an outstanding individual or team effort at a certain moment in time but the ability to sustain that excellence over the long haul.
With that in mind, Gainesville's Tim "T" Moon has established himself, in a relatively short period of time, as one of the truly great bench pressers in the history of powerlifting.
Recently, Moon won his fifth straight Mr. Olympia Championship, one of the most prestigious titles in the powerlifting world; and he did it while pushing through injury and illness. Add to that, Moon's many National and World Championships across various weight classes, age groups, and federations, and he has undeniably secured his spot among the greats of all time in the sport.
"I'm good at pushing," Moon said with a smile.
Moon noted that he normally has at least two or three competitions under his weightlifting belt by the time the Mr. O. rolls around, but with the pandemic this year, it was his first contest, and it came right before Christmas.
"Training was very difficult this year," Moon noted. "The gyms were closed down at some point. I broke two ribs in training (in July) by dropping 600 pounds on my chest. It was also difficult getting enough people together to help train."
Moon says he really can't train by himself, because with the weight he handles prior to competing, it takes several people to spot him.
"Also, I had to ramp up my final training quicker than usual which I think added to increased stress on my body and tendinitis in my shoulder. I competed with an ear infection, also, which made the plane trip very aggravating."
Moon, a 1982 graduate of Jefferson High, said that the staff at Rise Athletic Club in Oakwood had been very accommodating to his needs; and his wife Patty had been unwavering in her support, love, and encouragement.
On Thursday, the 56-year-old Moon weighed in at a little over 295 pounds, which was about where he wanted to be for competition in the 140 kilograms/308.64 pounds. Equipped (with bench shirts) class.
"All things considered, I decided to go with advice from Coach (Garry) Glenn: 'Always open with something you know you can get.' I essentially opened with what is usually my last warm-up in the back. I pushed 310 kg/683.43 lbs. fairly easily with three white lights from the judges. I made a very aggressive jump of about 80 lbs to around 761 pounds. I missed it on my second attempt and barely missed my third attempt at the same weight. I was trying to break my own IPL world record that I had set last year at Mr. O."
Moon noted that he not only won his class with his opening lift but also earned the best lifter medal which goes to the lifter with the highest score by formula across all classifications.
"I'm very thankful and grateful for all that helped and supported me. God has truly made me strong!"
Moon's win caps a literally very strong few weeks for the IronDawgs, a team of local lifters. Last month at the World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters Meet in Broken, Arrow OK, Joey Murphy of Mt. Airy lifted the most he has in five years at the WABDL Oklahoma State Bench Press and Deadlift Championships. After weighing in 241 lbs.-over 20 pounds lighter than five years ago- Murphy bench-pressed 700 pounds to break the Equipped 242 pound. SP Masters 47-53 world record for that federation. In Loganville,
Monroe's Russ Tripp set the National record in the Southern Powerlifting Federation's Master's Men's 181 pounds, 50-54-year-old Raw(unequipped) division with a bench-press of 320 pounds.; while at that same meet, Oakwood's Glenn lifting in the Raw MM 198 lb. 65-69-year-old class set the Georgia State Record in that division with a press of 290 pounds.
"The 'Dawgs did well in limited action," Glenn said. "Let's hope things look a little more normal next year, for all our sakes; and not just in weightlifting!"