Meet Chad Clark. Friend, family and honorary uncle to my daughter Aniah. It’s hard to believe that David and I have only known him for just under a year. David was having a conversation with Odd Haugen last year about incorporating MAS Wrestling into his event when Odd suggested that we give Chad a call. Chad, being the stand up guy that he is had no problem with driving fr om Virginia to Kentucky to give us a hand. He also stayed with us regardless of the fact that during that time our A/C had gone out due to flooding under the house fr om recent heavy rains. What we didn’t know at the time is that Chad is usually the type of guy who needs a/c and several fans in order to go to sleep. Nevertheless he took it like a champ and we now joke about it every time he visits.
Chad grew up in Roanoke, Virginia wh ere he currently lives. He holds the majority of his events there in a effort to grow strength sports in his hometown. Being the Director of the Green Hill Highland Games, Co-director of Star City Strongman, VA State Chair for Strongman Corp., East Coast Representative for MAS Wrestling, and a USPA powerlifting judge, I believe it is safe to say that Chad is making his mark on the world of strength.
From the ages of about 14-20 Chad was a sponsored skateboarder through World Industries. He decided that he wanted to get out of skateboarding and needed another physical activity. He went to the gym with a friend, got hooked on strength sports, and the rest is history. His one regret is that he didn’t compete until he was 33.
What he loves most about strength sports is the buzz of the bagpipes in your head after a day of throwing at a highland game, hitting the ammonia right before walking onto the powerlifting platform, competing in masters strongman and the comradery that goes with it, and traveling around the world with MAS Wrestling and making friends from other countries. “I’ve made so many friends and family through strength sports,” Clark told me.
The people he admires the most in the world of strength are the Masters athletes. “Odd Haugen, Berry Von Perkins, Richard Brose, Sean Brooks…. to name a few. They keep going, defying age and odds.”
Chad also wanted to take this opportunity to give some shout outs. “I am so thankful to call these people my friends and appreciate all they have done in my state.”
John Shifflet – “Thank you for all you’ve done for powerlifting and for being the person that you are.
Stella Krupinski – “Stella, the list of strength sports and events is endless, you’ve done so much for the state.”
Chris Lawyer – ” Before I even met you, I knew you were the man, always putting on events and involved in everything.”
Patrick Rodgers – “The Godfather of strongman in Virginia.”
Dave Mackenzie – “Poppa Dave, I love you, you and your family mean the world to me. A true pioneer and trailblazer in the highland games, a true living legend.”
Tyler Perdue – “Helping grow the sport of strongman and powerlifting right here in Roanoke Valley.”
And last but not least Billy Schrader – “Billy got me into all this, he was the first to put on strongman comps here in Roanoke and also responsible for starting the Green Hill Highland Games. I’m so thankful for your help and support, you gave me the opportunity that opened the door for me to do all the things I do now.”
He also had this to say about his girlfriend Justine aka JC, “I’m lucky as hell; she puts up with all my crap and supports me like no one else could. I wouldn’t be wh ere I am today without her support.”
His advice for athletes is “No matter what the strength sport, be it highland games, powerlifting or strongman, learn your sports history! A lot of interesting characters and amazing athletes paved the way for what we have now; take the time to learn about them, it will give you a much greater love and respect for your sport. Also, sign up and and compete, get involved, it’s the greatest opportunity you can have for making friends. It’s given me so much. Immerse yourself in it and get ready for a helluva ride.”
If you’re lucky enough to know Chad then you know that he is one of the most caring and giving individuals you’ll ever meet. He took care of his dad, Lawrence Clark (Chad’s hero), for the last 2 years of his life as he battled cancer. Chad is heavily involved in charities as well. The aforementioned Green Hill Highland Games is put on for veterans and proceeds go to Warrior 360. They also present the Athlete of the Day award in his Dad’s name. “My dad was a navy vet. Veterans are very near and dear to our heart. They are our nation’s greatest treasure.”
Having a great love of animals, he also raises money for the Angels of Assisi, with proceeds from Star City Strongman going towards that charity. Chad personally has 5 pets (aka kids): 3 cats (Thelma, Louise and Kitty) and 2 dogs (Smokey and The Bandit). “My mom always tells this story: As a child I wanted to be a dog catcher, but I wanted to keep them all. Even as a child I knew how much I loved animals and wanted to be able rescue them.”
A music junkie, pet dad, and avid reader, he has no shortage of hobbies. His favorite band is Motorhead. His favorite book genres are History and Autobiographies.
Recommendations – Album: Motorhead Overkill. Book: 1984 by George Orwell.
I really can’t say enough good things about Chad. He’s one of the kindest, easygoing, and funniest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Thank you, Chad, for being a friend and brother (And uncle!). We love you.
If you’d like to make a donation to Warrior 360, please visit warrior360.org
If you’d like to make a donation to Angels of Assisi please visit angelsofassisi.org
You can also follow Chad on Facebook as well as his page, East Coast MAS Wrestling.