2003 and 2013 World Masters Olympic Weightlifting Champion and Team Connecticut Head Coach Gary Valentine was born May 6, 1957 in Stamford, Ct. After receiving his Masters Degree in Exercise Science from the University of Connecticut in 1983, he began a 24 year career in the field of Cardiac Rehabilitation. He held the position of Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness Programs at Griffin Hospital in Derby, Ct., until August 2009, when he formed Valentine Strength, LLC., a strength training consulting company offering seminars and private instruction in Olympic Weightlifting.
From 2002-2009, as Adjunct Professor in Exercise Science at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT., he taught Clinical Exercise Physiology and Resistance Program Design courses to Exercise Science and Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program upperclassmen. He is currently Adjunct Professor in Exercise Science at Southern CT. State University.
With Lifetime best lifts of 123kg – 271lbs – snatch and 165kg – 363lbs – clean and jerk at age 42, Coach Valentine has a nearly 40 year drug free and injury free lifting career. This includes winning 2 World Masters Championships, and setting 2 World Masters Records in the clean and jerk. In 2002 he won the 5th of his 6 Pan American Masters Championships, setting a then World Record in the Clean and jerk with 153 kg. (pictured below). In 2006 he set the Pan American clean and jerk record with 154 kg. He also has won 9 Masters National Championships. Additionally, he has qualified 3 times for the U.S. Senior National championships, the highest National Competition in the United States – all while over age 40!
Competing since 1979, he has won 17 Connecticut State Championships, and various Regional Open Titles. Gary continues to compete in Open and Masters Competitions, while coaching Team Connecticut. On August 7, 2013, he won his second World Masters Championship in Torino, Italy with another World Record Clean and jerk of 146 kilos – 322 pounds at age 56!
He serves as a USAW Meet Director and CT Local Weightlifting Committee President, and since 2015 is running 7 sanctioned USAW Competitions per year!