David Boutsomsy is a competitive Powerlifter originally from Maryland who is known for competing in bench press competitions. He is a former semi-pro football player and as of 2021 has competed in five USA Powerlifting Arnold Classic events.
Competing against some of the world's best weight lifters is an honor in itself but in 2019 David Boutsomsy found himself on stage being interviewed by a legend, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The interview didn't just happen by chance. It was the culmination of years of hard work and dedication to athletics.
David Boutsomsy was born in French Camp, California in 1981 to parents from Savannakhet and Muang Champassak Laos. His father was a member of the Royal Lao Army who escaped to Thailand after spending time in an internment camp. The family relocated to Maryland when David was a child and he attended Stephen Decatur High School in Berlin, MD.
David was an accomplished multi-sport athlete during his high school years competing in football and track. It was at Stephen Decatur High school that David was first introduced to powerlifting by one of his math teachers. The sport of powerlifting has three competition lifts: the bench press, squat and deadlift. It is distinguished from Olympic-style weightlifting — with its snatch and clean and jerk — by an emphasis on raw strength. He won first place in some local bench press competitions and took runner-up at a Maryland state championship. After graduating from high school David attended Delaware State University where he was a member of the football team.
Upon graduation, David unsuccessfully tried out for both the National Football League and Arena Football League. He played a few years of semi-pro football but finally settled on Powerlifting as his sport of focus.
Between 2014 and 2020 he competed in fourteen major Powerlifting competitions including five USA Powerlifting Arnold Classics which are among the most prestigious invite-only events in the sport. He had a phenomenal year in 2016, at the age of 34, when he took second place at the USA Powerlifting Bench Press Nationals and secured an international record-breaking gold medal win at the Pan-American Bench Press Championships in Costa Rica, with a lift of 396.8 at a bodyweight of 179.9, raw. At the Arnold Titan Pro Bench Bash in March of 2019, he earned ninth place with a lift of 407.8 pounds at a bodyweight of 192.7 pounds. Fans of the sport are particularly impressed by the fact that David lifted “raw”, that is, without the kind of specialized gear and clothing that can add considerable weight to an attempt.
David currently lives in Northern Indiana with his wife Megan and their four children. He is a member of the South Bend Police Department. He is the first Lao American known to have achieved notoriety in Powerlifting.
Event photos of 2019 Arnold Titan Pro Classic- Credit to Platinumnines and USA Powerlifting
About this Article
Information for this article was obtained through interviews with David Boutsomy, Open Powerlifting and USA Powerlifting. USA Powerlifting event photos are by Platinumnines and posted with special permission from USA Powerlifting. A special thank you to Dave Ryan of the Dorchester Banner for inputs into the article.