Alan Tepper created a Physical Education legacy at North Bend Elementary during his tenure, where he made unicycling and jump roping team sports in an effort to create more activities for Snoqualmie Valley youth.
Retired in 2013, we met Mr. Tepper during his final two years teaching in the Snoqualmie Valley School District. He and his jump rope team helped my daughter adjust to a new school and instilled in her a work ethic that she also took with her on the soccer field and into the classroom.
Work hard, set goals, meet goals, set new goals. Challenge yourself. You CAN do it.
And that’s exactly what Alan Tepper has continued to do in retirement while competing in the challenging sport of powerlifting.
Mr. Tepper said he began training with weights while in junior high school in Brooklyn, New York. He said that’s what athletes do to train for sports they love.
But it wasn’t until 2002 when he met world powerlifting competitor, Richard Schuller, at Alpine Fitness in North Bend that he truly started training for the sport of powerlifting.
Powerlifting consists of three different lifts: squat, bench press and deadlift. During competitions, a powerlifter’s best successful lift in each category is added together for a total score that determines the winner.
By 2009 Tepper’s lifting was good enough to qualify him as a member of the USA Powerlifting Team, which sent him traveling to the Czech Republic for his first two international competitions – where he took home a gold medal for the bench press and placed 4th overall in his age group and weight class.
After that initial success Tepper suffered some pretty serious physical setbacks, though, including undergoing a series of six surgeries.
He explained that after the surgeries he spent a lot of time rehabilitating and then competing in local meets, with a goal set to once again represent the United States in international competition by the time he turned 70 in 2015.
The Comeback Kid
By May 2015 Tepper was well on his way to accomplishing that goal, competing in the National Powerlifting Championships in San Antonio where he placed first in his age group (70-79) AND weight class (182.75lbs or lighter), along with setting three American powerlifting records: Squat – 435lbs; Deadlift – 303.5lbs; and an overall total lift of 1,221lbs.
That record-breaking performance returned him to the USA Powerlifting Team, which traveled to Aurora Colorado last month for the International Masters World Championships.
And once again Tepper placed FIRST in his age group and weight class – while (again) simultaneously setting three American lifting records: Squat – 445lbs; Deadlift – 507.5lbs; and total lift – 1,232lbs.
And as if that wasn’t enough accolades for this North Bend athlete and former Snoqualmie Valley teacher, Mr. Tepper also received the award of Overall Best Lifter in his Masters 70-79 age group at the World Championships – the highest honor I am told, as it includes all age group competitors regardless of weight class.