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Junior Olympics At The George R. Brown Convention Center

Today, we go to the George R. Brown Convention Center to see some kids with big dreams. Thousands of young athletes are representing themselves in the AAU Junior Olympics here in Houston.


Sixth grader Levi Pate of Atlanta Georgia is already stronger than most of his friends in the neighborhood and at school. But in the Junior Olympics here in Houston, he’s competing in powerlifting against kids from all over the country.

View photos on Flickr

“One, two, three, lock it out lock it out.”

“Nice job. Good job.”

Levi benches 110 pounds and squats 200. He says he kind of likes being stronger than his friends.

“They all like to play baseball and stuff. I would rather prefer going in and lifting the weights hard. I also play football. Each helps me. Football helps me with weight lifting and weight lifting helps me with football.”

Levi’s father David Pate if a former body builder and says it was only natural that his son started lifting as well.

“When he was about 8 years old he said, Dad, I want to get involved, and we started with pushups and sit ups and kind of gradually eased into the weights. I used to do a little competitive lifting and he decided he wanted to give it a try and has been doing it a few years now.”

For the next week there are various Junior Olympic competitions going on throughout Houston. Swimming is being held in Pearland and track and field is taking place at Turner Field in Humble.

And then there’s something you’ve probably never heard of speed stacking.

(Sound of stacking of cups).

It almost looks like the contestant is doing a magic trick, but they’re moving a set of cups and stacking them in various formations as quickly as they can. This is coach Charlotte French a P.E instructor in Cy-Fair.

“We started this at our school about ten years ago. So I saw it at a PE convention and brought it back. We did it as a unit in P.E and our kids wanted to compete, b cause they saw the competitive side of it and they got excited about that. We started a team and we had 350 kids the first day of practice.”

Whether its speed stacking, swimming or power lifting, these youngsters are going for the gold. All of them say it would be very cool if they could one day do it for real on the big stage and stand on the podium as they receive they’re gold medal.

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