University of Central Florida student Zachary Karlins will be representing UCF and Team USA in weightlifting at the University Games in Taipei, Taiwan in August.

After six and a half years of weightlifting, Karlins’ goal of entering his first international competition will soon come true.

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“I tried out for my High School Weightlifting team my Freshman year and I was immediately hooked,” said Karlins on his GoFundMe page. “I have been competing in Olympic Weightlifting for over 7 years and I love everything about it, the competitions, being part of a team, my coaches, but mostly the work.”

The Knight trains five to six days a week, close to three to four hours a day in addition to a protein-heavy diet. Karlins is a 2017 University National Bronze Medalist and a U25 Silver Medalist.

“My team, Team Florida Orlando, is a gym family and that relationship is never more evident than the bond between me and my Coach, Hannah Crowe who has been by my side since day one!,” Karlins said.

Karlins and his coach are raising money to self-fund the trip to represent UCF. A GoFundMe page has been set up to meet their goal.