Travis Cooper Kicks Off 2023 Pan American Games Competition for Team USA in Santiago, Chile

"Sometimes you have an amazing day and sometimes you have to grit down. "
Travis Cooper

SANTIAGO, Chile - Weightlifting competition officially began on Saturday at the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile. Two-time Pan American Games participant Travis Cooper (73 kg/Saunderstown, R.I.) was the lone American competitor in opening day action at Gimnasio Chimkowe, joining 17 athletes vying for spots on the medal stand in the men’s 73 kg division.

Cooper finished 6th overall with a 302 kg total following successful lifts in both the snatch and clean and jerk.

A trio of American weightlifters will compete in Sunday’s action with Taylor Wilkins (59 kg/Sebastian, Fla.) opening the day in the 12 p.m. local time/11 a.m. ET session, Brandon Victorian (89 kg/Monroe, La.) lifting at 3:45 p.m. Chile time/2:45 p.m. ET and Meredith Alwine (71 kg/Altamonte Springs, Fla.) closing out the day at 7 p.m. local time/6 p.m. ET.

Cooper recorded a successful lift of 137 kg in his second snatch attempt following a miss on his first attempt at the weight. He missed on his final snatch attempt of 141 kg. In the clean and jerk, Cooper opened with a successful lift of 165 kg and missed in his final two attempts of 177 kg and 181 kg.

“Sometimes you have an amazing day and sometimes you have to grit down. Unfortunately, I missed my opener but came back and made my second. Very, very close miss on my third, which put me in a position to have to open light and be aggressive on the jumps,” Cooper said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t work out, but I had the weight on the bar to get bronze.”

He is participating in his second Pan American Games in Chile following an appearance at the 2015 event in Toronto, Canada where he represented the United States at 77 kg.

“It was such a blessing to be here and represent USA Weightlifting. I’ve had a lot of opportunities throughout my career. That was an amazing experience. This one has been as well. Obviously, you always wish that you had a great day of lifting, but I feel so blessed to be a part this team and I want to support my teammates and be the best teammate I can so hopefully they can scoop up some medals.”

All of the 2023 Pan American Games competition is being shown live on the Pan Am Sports Channel.

Travis Cooper’s Results

Snatch: 137 kg

Clean and Jerk: 165 kg

Total: 302 kg

Sunday’s Competition Schedule

12 p.m. Chile time/11 a.m. ET: Taylor Wilkins/F 59 kg

3:45 p.m. Chile time/2:45 p.m. ET: Brandon Victorian/M 89 kg

7 p.m. Chile time/6 p.m. ET: Meredith Alwine/F 71 kg