AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — May 26, 2017 is a day Tyi Richards will never forget. The 21-year-old Aiken native and Coastal Carolina senior won two national championships and broke seven world records in her 181 lb. weight class at the Amateur American Powerlifting National Championship in Chicago.
“It’s by the grace of God,” Richards said. “It felt good that I could do something that I love and break records and show people what I could do even though I haven’t been doing it long.”
“I just broke down and cried,” Richards’ stepfather and coach Bill Griswould said. “I told her, ‘I don’t know why I’m crying, you got the seven world records, you should be crying.’ That moment we shared together was really special.”
Richards began powerlifting in May 2016, and a year later she holds seven world records with a 385 lb. dead lift, 369 lb. squat and 203 lb. bench press.
“I can’t think of anyone who can say they broke seven world records in one day,” Griswould said.
With her performance at the national championship, Richards earned a spot to represent the United States at the World Championships in September.
“I never pictured myself being on Team USA for anything,” Richards said. “It’s a blessing because at a young age I can represent my city, state and nation.”
Richards started a GoFundMe page to help pay for her trip back to Chicago for the World Championships in September. If you’d like to support her cause, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/aapf-worlds-powerlifting.