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UT Tyler student sets bench press world record at Mr. Olympia

UT Tyler kinesiology student Guy Parker set a bench press world record twice in the fall while competing in Florida.
Credit: Courtesy - Tyler Morning Telegraph
UT-Tyler kinesiology student Guy Parker, 24, holds a trophy after winning the bench press category at Mr. Olympia.

TYLER, Texas — UT Tyler kinesiology student Guy Parker set a bench press world record twice in the fall while competing in Florida; however, his path to weightlifting success has not been an easy one.

Parker, 24, was a standout athlete in football and baseball in his hometown Cushing, Oklahoma. He had been lifting for just about three years when he, out of curiosity, looked up bench press records for his age and weight. He said he was shocked to see that his lifts were not far off the numbers.

Although Parker received dozens of offers to play football and baseball at Division I and II schools, he chose to stay close to home and accepted a preferred walk-on letter to play the sports at Oklahoma State University.

Shortly after starting his collegiate athletic career, Parker herniated two of his discs. The injuries ended any hopes of continuing playing sports at the college level.

In debilitating pain to the point of being unable to tie is own shoes and no longer able to play sports, Parker decided to move to Tyler to live with his brother, a chiropractor in the area. After months of treatment, Parker’s injuries began to heal, and he began to look forward to again being physically active.

“I’ve always worked out. Even from an early age I wanted to be big, fast and strong. I knew that training would give me a leg up on the competition, but I also just really loved it,” Parker said. “After my football career ended and my back was fixed, I decided to start really training and focusing on powerlifting.”

In March, then 23, Parker competed at the Texas State Championships meet in Pleasanton.

Read more from our newspaper partners, the Tyler Morning Telegraph.