Local Athlete Comes Back From Multiple Head Injuries, Sets World Record

Oct 20, 2023, 10:47 AM | Updated: 10:48 am

Ryan Moffat local athlete...

(Photo courtesy of Tammy Moffat)

(Photo courtesy of Tammy Moffat)

SALT LAKE CITY – Most people associate sports with entertainment, but motivation and hope can be found when looking in the right places.

A perfect example of this is the story of local athlete Ryan Moffat.

Comebacks Cant Exist Without Setbacks

Moffat was a three-sport athlete at Olympus High School.

He played football, lacrosse, and wrestled for the Titans. With hopes of partaking in collegiate athletics one day, it appeared that he was well on his way.

Finding success on the field and on the mat, Moffat was dedicated and continued pushing toward his goals.

“I was a three-sport athlete with college prospects and I had two years of high school left to improve,” Moffat said.

During a high school football game in his junior year, his whole world was flipped on its back.

Moffat was hit hard and went in for testing. It was found that he had suffered a concussion. But the bad news didn’t stop there.

Moffat had multiple concussions in a span of a few weeks. He was forced to drop all of the sports he loved so much to transition into his next chapter.

The Road Back

The stress put on Moffat’s head began causing a lot of problems. He became very sensitive to light and noise, had constant migraines, and the lack of places to expel energy led to depression.

He spent time away from school and took vision therapy at Cognitive FX to regain focus in his eyes and brain.

Ryan’s father, John, explained the effects the recovery process had on Ryan and his family.

“I had a million things going through my mind,” John Moffat said. “He would go out to hang with friends and be back within an hour.”

As a parent, he was hopeful for Ryan but also acknowledged that the worst-case scenario was still a possibility.

There was uncertainty about the quality of life Ryan would have after undergoing treatment.

The medical specialists who assisted deserve plenty of credit, but Ryan’s determination and mindset on getting back to good health shined through.

“Life is about pushing yourself, learning, growing, and inevitably failing but not giving up,” Moffat said.

As he improved, Ryan looked for ways to be active outside of contact sports. He began powerlifting and the rest is history.

Ryan Moffat, Local Athlete & Powerlifting Record Holder

It started with just going to the gym to lift and be active.

Moffat began learning about the world of powerlifting. He met friends and mentors in the gym and learned about local powerlifting competitions.

Eager to compete, Ryan signed up for his first powerlifting competition. He already had some experience in the weight room from his high school sports days so he had a small advantage over some of the other beginners.

For a year and a half, Ryan was consistent in the gym. All of the efforts he had put into being a multi-sport athlete were now focused on lifting.

Shortly after graduating high school, Ryan entered another powerlifting competition. It was this day when Ryan’s new passion and all of the work he put in was gratified.

He achieved a world record in the deadlift, accomplishing a feat that had never been seen before in the 90kg weight class and the 18-19 age group by lifting an astounding 611 pounds.

“None of this would have been possible if I had given up when I had thought I lost everything,” Moffat said.

Moffat also holds an unofficial squat record.

Shortly after setting the record, Moffat was invited to compete at the Worlds Power Lifting meet in Manchester, England. He will travel to the Pendulum Hotel and Conference Centre later this month to compete.

“I continued finding ways to push myself and now I’m preparing to compete on a much larger stage than I could have ever imagined,” Moffat said.

Following the competition, Moffat will serve a mission in Barranquilla, Colombia for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Finding Inspiration In Sports

Ryan’s story shows us that determination and resiliency can help anyone overcome any obstacle.

When you get knocked down, get right back up and push harder than you did before.

It would have been easy for Ryan to accept his fate and forget the goals he had been pursuing. But, the easiest path is never the most rewarding one.

For those who need the courage and strength to keep going, Ryan put it best.

“The only time you ever truly fail is when you stop trying,” Moffat said.

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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Local Athlete Comes Back From Multiple Head Injuries, Sets World Record