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James Vang

James Vang is a Hmong -American powerlifter from Georgia.  He is a nine time national champion and has competed as a member of Team U.S.A. In 2022 he won the Arnold Classic. 

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The Strong Man

James Vang’s parents were both born in Laos and migrated to the U.S.A. after the secret war along with thousands of other Hmong people.  He moved around from areas with large Hmong populations including California, Minnesota and Wisconsin before settling down in Georgia where he has spent most of his life.  As the youngest of four siblings and the smallest in stature his family tried to pursued him tom pursue academics over athletics.  James began training casually in high school for personal fulfillment before taking the sport seriously in college. He went through a rough patch in life as his parents split up while he was attending college at the University of Georgia.  “I was in a really dark place and staying with one of my buddies, he was telling me that if I really like lifting weights why don’t I go compete at this competition”, said James.   James won his first amateur competition at the University of Georgia and was soon invited to join a team and compete nationally. 

He would go on to have an incredible career winning competing as a member of team U.S.A. taking home nine national titles and winning the 2022 Arnold Classic.  He told his entire life story on the SEA4 Podcast

About this Article

Information for this article came from interviewing James Vang on the SEA4 Podcast. Photos are courtesy of James Vang.

Last updated: April 15, 2023

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