Invictus Athlete, Chandler Smith, deadlifting 610 pounds at the 2023 Rogue Invitational and winning the event.

The Top Moment of the Rogue Invitational 
Written by Kelly Sekulovski 

The entire stadium is quiet. There is one man left standing: Invictus Athlete Chandler Smith. He looks like a gym teacher wearing a Polo, a baseball hat, and swishy joggers. But no one would dare question the outfit of the man who just deadlift 605 pounds like it was easy. 

Now everyone is staring. There is silence in the crowd. Normally when someone wins an event they celebrate, the fans cheer, and there is a clear conclusion to the event. But this isn’t one of those moments, because Chandler Smith is still staring at the barbell like he is about to go on the attack, again. 

He signals to the volunteers to add to the barbell. They look shocked. Chandler has already clearly won the Deadlift One Rep Max event by being the only man to deadlift 605. But you can see that even though he won, he clearly isn’t finished. 

When the volunteers start loading the barbell up, murmurs erupt from the crowd and the questions start. 

“Is he going to go for 610?” 

“But he already won!” 

“Oh my god he is an animal.” 

Once the barbell is loaded up, Chandler’s fellow competitors come to stand behind him. In a true show of camaraderie and sportsmanship, the other 19 men competing against him start to hype him up with pats on the back, and waive their arms for the crowd to get ready for a show and to show Chandler some love.

The crowd finally realizes that he is going for it, and rises to their feet erupting in cheers. Chandler walks up to the platform like a lion on the hunt. He confidently approaches the barbell like he’s about to lift 135, not 610 pounds. He sets himself, takes a deep breath and pulls the bar. There isn’t a doubt in any spectator’s mind that Chandler is going to miss this deadlift. The energy is too electric, and he’s too confident and strong. 

The bar comes up easily to his hips where he stands up and then drops the bar to the ground triumphantly. The crowd erupts. He takes a few steps back and taps his watch in triumph. In the front row, a little boy is holding a sign that says, “What time is it? Chandler time.” 

These are the moments that make this sport what it is. Chandler already had an event win in the bank, but he is still not satisfied because deep down he knows he is capable of more. He isn’t doing this deadlift for an event win, he’s doing this deadlift for him. And it’s magical to watch.  

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