out of the ashes

Out of sheer determination, love of sport, application of science and research, and intensity he successfully returned to a long and successful international career in Olympic weightlifting.

Throughout his athletic career, from 1977 through 1992, Derrick incorporated intense psychological and physical training and became known as one of America’s toughest weightlifters. His athletic experiences compelled him to coach weightlifting and teach others to maximize their potential. He continues to help people recover from injuries through his profession as a physician assistant and a physical therapist.

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Early Years

At age 16, Derrick began lifting weights at the Belleville Weightlifting Club, under nationally-ranked weightlifter/coach, Ted Frank. Derrick’s parents, Howard and Jane, were supportive as he showed a gift for the Olympic lifts. He won all national age-group competitions and set many National Junior records as a teenager. His junior career culminated with an 11th place finish at the 1980 Jr. World Championships in Montreal, Canada. At the expense of attaining a college education early, he moved to the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to pursue his dream of making an Olympic team. At the USOTC, he was coached by Harvey Newton, MA, and sport psychologist, Michael J. Mahoney, PhD. Derrick’s athletic career, and his life, became about maximizing his physical and psychological potentials.

Derrick quickly became a force in weightlifting. He competed in the 1982 and 1983 Olympic Festivals. Derrick represented the United States in the 1982 World Championships in Ljubjiana, Yugoslavia, and won the Oceania Championships in Papeete, Tahiti in 1984.