Hoover’s Secret Weightlifter

Khouyegani takes first place in competition.


By Andrew Bae, Staff Writer

Alen Bolboli Khouyegani, a senior at Hoover High, took first place in a local weightlifting competition hosted by Rep Max Performance in Orange, California on March 19.

When Khouyegani arrived at the scene and began his warm up, it was unexpected as to how laid back it was as everyone was in their own spaces doing their own things.

Despite seeing the laid-back atmosphere, Khouyegani felt the energy that everybody participating that night was ready. 

Khouyegani stated that despite not being able to compete with the right people in his age and weight category, it still felt great to take first place amongst people that were supposed to be stronger than him. 

“It still felt exciting because even though there were people who were heavier than me, who were supposed to be stronger than me, but because it was a local competition, everyone was not as strong as they could be,” he said “But man there is no excuse for that. Just an amazing feeling getting first place.”

Khouyegani understood the  importance of self-improvement so it did not matter much to him on how the competition progressed. 

“I didn’t really have anyone to compete with but I felt like I was competing with myself,” he said. “I increased my total and that’s what really matters.”

Khouyegani stated that he raised kilos by 9 kilos and explained why it was significant.

“That’s about 20 pounds higher. 9 kilos is a lot because what it comes down to in most competitions, especially the bigger ones like national and international, the difference between winning and getting second place could be like 1 or 2 kilos,” he said. “So it was very good.”

Khouyegani’s total lift was 167 kilos, which in perspective was 368 pounds. 167 kilos were split between the snatch and the clean and jerk, which are the two stages in weightlifting. 

Khouyeganil’s snatch was 77 kilos or 169 pounds and his highest clean and jerk was 90 kilos or 198 pounds.

“I felt more relaxed than my last competition,” he said. “My last competition I would say was more rugged and this time I knew I had to have something to go off of. I was so calm and focused. The whole day was a win.”

Khouyegani stated that he started weightlifting at the age of 15 because his older brother’s friend saw potential in Khouyeganil to become an athlete and wanted to start coaching and training him.

“I see it as the best thing that happened to me. I can’t imagine my life without my coach, my brother and my friends,” he said. “The best thing that ever happened to me.”