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Austin is Hall of Famer, again!
Richard “Dick” G. Austin of Rumford was recently inducted into the World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters Hall of Fame. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
RUMFORD -- After claiming his eighth world title last November in Las Vegas, NV, Richard “Dick” G. Austin of Rumford was inducted into the World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters Hall of Fame.
Austin, who turns 82 in March, was formally presented the plaque by Al Stork of Winthrop during a competition in Portland on Feb. 2. He is proud of his latest award but noted it's getting harder to find space to display all his accomplishments at his Smithcrossing home and gym in a career that began nearly 70 years ago.
Competing in the World Bench Press and Dead Lift Championships in Las Vegas at Bally's Resort and Casino, Austin won his world title in the 220-pound class Master Division, for powerlifters ranging in age from 80 to 84. In addition to his first place win, Austin also broke the world record for bench pressing in his age category by benching 363 pounds.
Austin, who was inducted into the Maine Hall of Fame in 1999, and the Rumford Wall of Fame in 2009, was a Korean War veteran with the 82nd Airborne Division and an employee with the local paper mill for 40 years before he retired. He won his first competition in 1947.
Austin's latest award noted that besides the eight world championships, he has attained 42 world records and finished first in all 152 contests be has competed in both Olympic lifting and powerlifting.
Meanwhile, he is training for the qualifying event in June for the nationals. Retiring just isn't in Austin's vocabulary, although he admits he's talked about doing so from powerlifting since about 1980.