A Legend in Sport Oscar Chaplin III

by USA Weightlifting

This past weekend our community lost one of its most decorated athletes and coaches. Oscar Chaplin III passed away Friday, February 4, 2022 at his residence in Savannah, GA. Oscar was born on February 22, 1980 in Savannah, GA and began weightlifting in the 1990’s with Team Savannah.

Chaplin represented USA Weightlifting at both the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games and still holds the 81kg record in the snatch at 150kg, a lift that was made in 1998. His long career was filled with numerous triumphs, most notably his gold medal performance at the 2000 Junior World Championships, which was the last championship held by an American for 16 years (later broken by CJ Cummings).

Following his athletic retirement, Oscar began his coaching career holding positions at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and with SPS Weightlifting in Oakland, CA. His passion for the sport and his positive attitude helped encourage a new generation of athletes in our sport and it will be forever missed.

Phil Andrews, CEO of USA Weightlifting stated:

"Oscar was not only an outstanding athlete, a legend of his era, but also a great coach and most importantly a wonderful human being. He leaves a big hole in our sport and our hearts, including my own. While our first and foremost thoughts are for Oscar, Jim and the rest of the Chaplin family, we encourage those affected in any way by Oscar's loss to reach out for support with grief and wellness at this challenging time for our community."

Lifetime Achievements:

  • 2016 Hall of Fame Inductee
  • Head coach, Olympic Training Center Community Program
  • American record holder
  • The Silver Dragon
  • 2004 Olympic Games, 85kg  – 10th
  • 2003 World Championships, 85kg – 13th
  • 2002 World Championships, 85kg – 11th
  • 2000 Olympic Games, 77kg – 12th
  • 2000 Junior World Championships 77kg, - 1st
  • 1999 World Championships 77kg, - 21st
  • 1999 Junior World Championships 77kg, - 3rd
  • 1998 World Championships 77kg, 13th
  • 1998 Junior World Championships 77kg, 9th

Funeral services have yet to be finalized but will take place in his hometown of Savannah, GA. A moment of silence to be held in honor of Oscar at the 2022 North American Open Series 1 & National University Championships, taking place in Columbus, OH from March 3-6.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting contributions to a foundation, being created in his name.

For more information, please contact the family at

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