BY RACHEL JONES
PHOTOGRAPH FROM NAT AREM

“His nickname isn’t ‘Iron Mike’ for nothing,” says Regis Becker, president of Pittsburgh Barbell Club and USA Weightlifting senior coach of Mike Nackoul. Hailing from Canonsburg, Nackoul previously won the U.S. National Junior Championships and placed seventh at the World’s Junior Championships. But the 2013 International Weightlifting Federation World Championships in Wroclaw, Poland, in October was one of his biggest competitions to date. “It was a much higher level of competition,” Nackoul says. “It was a big arena with a much bigger audience. It was cool.” Competing in the 85 kg weight class, Nackoul finished 17th in the Snatch, lifting 145 kg (319 lb), and 16th in the Clean and Jerk, lifting 182 kg (401 lb). Now, he is focusing on his graduation from Massachusetts Institute of Technology this month and his upcoming move to Colorado Springs. There, he will train for his ultimate goal: the 2016 Summer Olympics. “I think Mike’s best lifting days are ahead of him,” Becker says. “There is no telling how far he will go in weightlifting after he graduates and has time to train full-time. The sky is the limit!”

Pittsburgh Barbell Club — facebook.com/pittsburgh.barbell.
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