Derrick Crass attended Southern Illinois University. He competed at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, the 1987 Pan American Games, and the World Championships in 1982 and 1989. At the 1984 Olympics, on his first snatch attempt, Crass tore his right patellar tendon and dislocated his right elbow. It was uncertain if he could return to lifting at international level after those injuries, but Crass managed to do so. Crass won gold at the 1984 Oceania Championships, was a silver medalist at the 1987 Manuel Suarez Cup, and a bronze medalist at the 1990 Moomba Cup. Crass was a US Champion in 1987, 1989, and 1990, being named Best Lifter at the 1989 US Championships. He eventually had to retire secondary to arthritis that developed after his 1984 Olympic injuries.
In 1996 Crass was featured on the cover of a CD, “Amazing Disgrace,” made by the rock band The Posies. His daughter, Rachel, became a high level weightlifter as well, who has competed at the Worlds and Junior World Championships, and they competed together at the 2002 US Championships. Crass invented DC Blocks, which are stackable and portable weightlifting blocks made from 100% recycled plastic. He runs his own training and fitness center where he trained his daughter.
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