Brandi Darby Becomes First Blind Lifter to Podium at National USAW Meet

August 16, 2018 by
Photo courtesy of USA Weightlifting
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The story?

Hello roadblocks and barriers. You obviously haven’t met 36-year-old Brandi Darby, who just became the first blind athlete to place in a USA Weightlifting sanctioned competition, earning a silver and two bronze medals in the women’s over 35 category.

In July, while our heads were turned towards the Games, Darby competed in the 90kg weight class at the American Open Series 2 in Valley Forge, PA. She finished with a 65kg/143 pounds snatch and 70kg/154 pounds clean and jerk, which earned her third-place overall.


Just like most of us, Darby came to weightlifting via CrossFit. While taking CrossFit classes in college, one day Darby came in and saw an 800 meter run on the board and “died a little inside.” Instead of the run, she walked over to the Olympic lifting class and it was “love at first lift.”

“There are a lot of us who don’t have the confidence to try this or any sport because the challenges seem bigger than the possibilities,” Darby told USA Weightlifting.

What’s next?

TBD on that, but get this: she’s only been competing since February.

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