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Maryville athlete brings two Special Olympic powerlifting medals home to East Tennessee

Brad Davis' favorite sport is skiing, but powerlifting is a close second.

MARYVILLE, Tenn. — In the gym with his coaches and several hundred pounds of weights is where Brad Davis thrives.

"Brad's willing to do anything. Ask him and he never complains," said coach Holland Millsaps.

Though he may be a man of few words, Brad is a man of many talents.

"Brad is such a great athlete anyways," said Millsaps. "He's like an international level skier on top of being a great powerlifter."

Millsaps is one of Brad's powerlifting coaches who helped get him to this year's Special Olympic USA Games. After attending the game, he came home from a week in Orlando with two medals, including a gold medal in deadlifts and a silver medal in squats.

"I wanted to be like, 'Look what my guy did!'" said Millsaps.

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His balance and agility coach, Dusty Holden, expected those wins.

"Oh, not surprised at all," said Holden. "I know the work that he puts in and the consistency so I fully expected him to go down and put on a show."

Both Holden and Millsaps are beyond proud of Brad's success at his first national powerlifting competition.

"He's deadlifting 325 [pounds], he's squatting almost 185 [pounds], I mean, these are some pretty serious numbers that these guys are putting up," said Millsaps.

"Brad has been just nothing short of amazing. Anything athletic, he has always done extremely well with," said Kent Davis, his dad.

Kent is Brad's biggest fan.

"Well, of course, we're proud of Brad and what he's able to accomplish," he said. "But more importantly, I think Brad is proud of himself."

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That he is. But on a big trip to a national competition that also included a visit to Disney World, that wasn't his favorite part. It was the powerlifting. He loves to just lift the bar up and down.

"Lifting the bar, simple as that," said Kent.

So Brad will keep lifting the bar, and raising it, too.

"He's lifting the same weight as an able-bodied athlete," said Kent. "The clock runs the same for them as it does for an able-bodied athlete. So for them to be extremely successful in the same realm is pretty cool."

Brad is also a champion snow skier and he'll continue to compete in skiing and powerlifting through Special Olympics.

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