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Former BA Wide Receiver Spreads New Passion Of Olympic Weightlifting

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BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma -

Most times an athlete's sports career ends after high school or college; but a former Broken Arrow football star is still having success, just in a whole new realm.

The journey of former wide receiver Blake Barnes starts at the Broken Arrow High football field, goes all the way to California, and comes back to a Broken Arrow gym at Aspen and 91st.

"I didn't want to stop training, so I was just doing bodybuilding stuff, not really knowing what to do," he said. "The thing that actually grabbed me was that it was so difficult. That's what kind of attracted me to it."

He’s talking about Olympic weightlifting – the snatch and clean jerk. Barnes discovered the passion he didn’t know he had while he was an intern at Stanford.

"We were teaching our athletes, so I just started practicing them so I could become a better coach," he said. "Turns out I kinda had a knack for it."

Now, Barnes has a resume that includes 2016 Oklahoma state champion, top-10 national finishes since 2014, and a snatch record-holder in his weight class.

He’s now spreading his knowledge with the Oklahoma Weightlifting Club, which meets inside CrossTowne LifeFit in Broken Arrow.

"I just wanted to come back to my home state and just try to spread the sport," Barnes said.

He’s doing it, one lift at a time.

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