The United States has had some amazing young athletes over the years. Most people in the sport tend to follow the accomplishments of the current top talent, without understanding much about some of the milestone lifts that have been done in the past. But old grizzlies like me can remember names and records from former generations that shocked the country. Jeff Michels snatched 167.5 as a 100 kilo junior back in 1981. Michael Martin did a 175 C&J in the 77 kilo class when he was 15. Oscar Chaplin totaled 312.5 in the old 70 kilo class back when he was only 17.
D’Angelo Osorio’s potential is in the same league as those great names. After finishing up his career as a junior with an American record 195 kg C&J and 350 kg total in the 94 kg class at the 2013 American Open, D’Angelo is poised and ready to establish himself as a major force in the senior ranks of USA weightlifting. His top lifts can already go head-to-head with many of the biggest names we’ve had over the years, and it’s clear from his recent training that he’s only scratching the surface of what he’s capable of.
As with many of the best weightlifters in the US these days, D’Angelo got his start in the Lincoln High School weight room with the Hassle Free club. From those modest beginnings to the Olympic Training Center, the future is waiting for him. The Performance Menu is excited to give you a look into the life of a young man who has a chance to write his name in the history books.
Tell us about your background. Where are you from, where do you currently live, what’s your occupation (if you work in addition to training), family life, what kind of sports background do you have outside of lifting, etc.
I’m from San Francisco, California, currently living in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the Olympic Training Center. I train full time there, so I am not in school or working outside of the sport. It’s hard for me to focus on multiple things, so I set my mind on one thing at a time. I’m also the youngest of three. I have one brother and one sister, named Harold Osorio Jr. and Shalina Osorio. Both of my parents and my brother/sister and I attended different high schools. My mother’s name is Regina Osorio and father’s name is Harold Osorio, Sr. They attended Galileo High School. My brother and sister attended George Washington High School. My dad was a football/track star and maybe a little bit of weightlifting in there somewhere back in his days. My mother was a cheerleader for the football team and has been with my dad ever since. My brother just played football in high school (tight end). My family has supported what I have been doing since day one and hasn’t stopped since. I’m so grateful and blessed to have all the love and support from my family and friends; it means a lot to me that they’ve stuck with me the whole way. Words cannot describe how much I feel about them.
Describe your weightlifting history. When/how did you start? Who have your coaches been? What championships and international teams do you have on your record? What are your best lifts?
I started weightlifting in 2008, my freshman year at Abraham Lincoln High School, through football. I played football for a short time in high school. I quit a couple months later because I struggled remembering the plays and staying on top of my grades, so I continued weightlifting and thought it was the best sport ever. My coaches in weightlifting have been Kevin Doherty, Rob Earwicker and Zygmunt Smalcerz (U.S. National Team Coach). My current coaches are Kevin and Zygmunt.
2008 National School Age Championships (Orlando, Florida) 77kg SILVER
2009 National School Age Championships (Gainesville, Georgia) 85kg BRONZE
2010 National School Age Championships (Foster City, California) 85kg SILVER
2010 National Junior Championships (Rochester, Minnesota) 85kg 5TH
2011 National Junior Championships (Houston, Texas) 94kg SILVER
2011 American Open (Mobile, Alabama) 85kg 7TH
2012 National Junior Championships (Itasca, Illinois) 85kg GOLD
2012 Senior National Championships (Columbus, Ohio) 85kg 4TH
2013 National Junior Championships (Foster City, California) 94kg SILVER
2013 American Open (Dallas, Texas) 94kg GOLD
2010 Youth Pan Am Championships (Chiclayo, Peru) 85kg
2012 Junior World Championships (Antigua, Guatemala) 85kg
2013 Junior Pan Am Championships (Santiago, Chile) 94kg GOLD in snatch
2013 Junior World Championships (Lima, Peru) 94kg
Best Lifts(D’Angelo has increased some of these since this interview)
Back Squat: 252kg
Front Squat: 235kg
Snatch: 156kg (official) & 160kg (unofficial)
C&J: 195kg (official) & 200kg (unofficial)
Please give a basic description of your training. Just tell us as much as you can about your program, weekly/yearly planning, etc.
Zygmunt’s program includes a lot of volume and technique. We normally train 9 times a week; our only day off is Sunday. Monday, Wednesday and Friday are our double days and Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday are our single days, usually SQUAT days. The squat days will change up usually. So for example, I will front squat on Tuesday, back squat Thursday and front squat on Saturday. The next week will be the exact opposite and switch to back squats, front squats then back squats again, and so on.
Describe some of the obstacles you face, or maybe some things that frustrate you in your weightlifting life. What kinds of changes would you like to see, either personally or with the sport in general?
The most frustrating thing for me is the technique. Pulls and block work, they’re my least favorite thing to do personally. Personally I’d like our sport to be more recognized, just like CrossFit or Strongman, for example. It doesn’t make any sense at all that these two things are more popular than an OLYMPIC SPORT. In Europe and Asia, Olympic weightlifting is like the NFL. To them, it’s very popular. It’s on national television.
What are your plans and goals for your weightlifting career? How do you see your future in the sport? Do you plan to stay involved in weightlifting after your top competitive years are over?
My plans are to make as many international teams as I can, break the American records and make the 2016 Olympic Games! I don’t know, to be honest all I can say is we’ll see what the future has in store for me.
Who are some of your major influences, people you look up to, etc.? Who are the people you want to thank for your success?
I mainly look up to my brother. He’s a big influence on me and kept pushing me further and to get better. I definitely want to give a thank you to Kevin Doherty for sticking with me all the way because if it wasn’t for him, I would be where I am today. I’m very grateful and blessed to have him as a friend/coach! I also would like to give a big thank you to my coach Zygmunt Smalcerz. It’s amazing training with him. He has also pushed me to be better in weightlifting, he wants everyone to succeed and do great in weightlifting. If it wasn’t for Zygmunt, I wouldn’t be at the level that I am today.
Your time is here, D’Angelo. You’ve got a shot to do things that very few weightlifters ever get close to. All of us here at Catalyst, along with the US weightlifting community, are going to have a lot of fun watching what you do in the coming years. Best of luck to you!