Bench pressing for the gold, Dubuque man hopes to compete in Par - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Bench pressing for the gold, Dubuque man hopes to compete in Paralympic Games 2020

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Dan Klavitter, 31, of Dubuque dedicates another two hour workout at the gym as he trains for his upcoming weight lifting competition.

He was born with one leg, but this has never stopped him from reaching his goals. "Every time I do a meet, I try to do a personal best, so right now that's 347...347 pounds," he said. 

He has qualified to compete in the ParaPowerlifting World Championships in Mexico City, which takes place in September.

His ultimate goal is the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan in 2020. 

"I never thought I'd get to represent the United States in any sort of competition by getting to go on an international stage and compete against the best of the best," Klavitter said. "You got guys that are bench pressing three times their body weight, so it's no slouch. And it's just something that I think is a once in a lifetime opportunity."

His friends who have supported him along the way, calling him an inspiration.

"We wrestled in high school together when he took second at state at Senior," said Kenneth Cane. "A lot of people took notice while he came up through the ranks. It doesn't surprise me that he followed through to weigh lifting. He's a very determined individual and and if he sets his mind of something he's gonna achieve it."

Besides competing, another passion of Klavitter is teaching. He is a Special Education teacher at Washington Middle School. "I love my job. It's something new everyday...I like the challenge."

His journey to the Paralympic Games will be a long one. Athletes have to compete for four years  in order to qualify. 

Klavitter has started a gofundme campaign to help him get there. For more information, visit:

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