by: Paul Leonard
Carlton Snitkin left this world in May 2018 at the age of 72, but long after leaving his mark on and off the platform. In his 72 trips around the sun, Carlton inspired innumerable people with is Powerlifting prowess and coaching excellence. Open Powerlifting documents that his best official lifts are an 837 lb squat, a 507lb bench, and an 821 deadlift for an official 2121 at 242 lbs. Through the magic of YouTube, Carlton had a channel on which he posted a squat, bench and deadlift so that people can witness his power, strict style, respectful platform demeanor as well as his athletic physique which bristled with power.
Carlton loved his community, but he traveled to 10 men’s Senior National Powerlifting Championships to compete – beginning in 1967 and culminating at the 1983 Seniors in Austin. Although Carlton never placed higher than 2nd at any Seniors, he won the 1971 Worlds, as well as 2 North American Open Meets and the Epic Hawaiian Invitational Open in 1982. For you young readers, the Hawaiian Open was the US Open, Big Dogs, Boss of Bosses all wrapped in to one. Only the Apex predators of the PL world would be invited and the strongest would survive – usually spurred on to World Record performance by the raucous crowd and proximity to their peer beasts.
Carlton graced the cover of the November 1981 Powerlifting USA Magazine, documenting his 2121 at 242 meet success. The picture leaves an indelible image of a confident man who has put in the work and is straining up with a world record squat as his 20” neck looks engorged with effort.
For his efforts, Carlton is enshrined in the Connecticut Powerlifting Hall of Fame, but that is not his only hall of fame membership. Carlton is in the Connecticut Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as well as the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame.
In 1974 Carlton founded the Norwich Free Academy Wrestling program, which he led for 25 years. As the head coach of this program, his combined record was 471-80-7, creating 63 State or New England champion wrestlers. Carlton’s successor described how Carl would train his wrestlers hard, then he would go home and train himself- even at the height of his Powerlifting career in the early 80s.
A rival coach described Snitkin’s style: Carl quickly established some of the roughest, toughest, most physical wrestlers in the State. He built a great legacy.
Upon reading the numerous online tributes that accompany Mr. Snitkin’s obituary it is touching to read the outpouring of emotion for a man who was the best he could be while demanding the best from everyone he coached.
RIP Coach Snitkin as men like you are very rare and will always be recognized by us here at Jailhouse Strong.