My Heart is Very Heavy.The Iron Game has lost a True Legend!!! I was on the team with Doug in 1977 Worlds in Perth Australia.As we trained in Hawaii ,we decided we had a better chance if Doug went down to 242 as he weighed almost 300.It was 10 days until the meet and Doug lost the weight.Onhis first squat he broke a rib.He successfully completed 2 more attemts.On the bench he had to be almost carried out to the platform .He was passing out from pain after each attempt.He made almost 600 lb(NO BENCH SHIRT OR ANY TYPE OF SHIRT)We had to carry him off the platform.He needed almost 750 deadlift to win and he won!!! He Displayed more Fortitude Than I have Ever Seen in Our Sport.When I think of giving up at anything I remember that event!!!He Was A GREAT LIFTER AND A GREATER HUMAN BEING!!!I am so Proud to have been his Team Mate and Friend!!!God Bless You My Friend and I Know that when it is My Time I will again have the Priveledge to meet Doug and all my other Great Friends who have passed!!Maybe at some time we can again take another workout together!!!Rest in Pease My Friend.
The following is information shared by Terry Todd about Doug Young, appearing on ironhistory.com. Thank you, Terry:
I’m sorry to report that on Friday night, October 7th, in Abilene, Texas, Doug Young suffered a massive heart attack and died instantly. Jan and I had not seen Doug since the funeral of his older brother, Bob, ten years earlier, but we kept in loose touch. I called him last week to tell him we had to be in Abilene over the weekend, and to ask him to join us for dinner on Friday. He agreed, and he and his former wife, Beverly, also a friend of ours, picked us up at our motel at 6:30. An hour later he was dead.
The restaurant was crowded that night and when Doug suddenly passed out and we lowered him to the floor, several nurses immediately came to his aid. Beverly herself tried mouth to mouth resuscitation, and personnel from the Fire Department were there inside of ten minutes with paddles—followed a few minutes later by the Emergency Medical Services. They also used the paddles, as well as oxygen and all the standard procedures but it was all to no avail. Doug was then taken by ambulance to a local hospital, and was declared dead shortly after arrival. I was seated directly in front of him at the restaurant and his face never registered any pain. One minute he was with us, smiling and talking about the good old days…and then he was gone.
I knew Doug for 40 years, having met him while he was a standout linebacker for Texas Tech. I first wrote about him in 1974, in Muscular Development, chronicling how—after several years of inactivity—he went from a bench press of 305 pounds at a starved-down bodyweight of 178 to a bench of 540 at a bodyweight of 260. In eight months. Astonished by his genetic gifts, I followed his meteoric rise in powerlifting closely, and I saw him win his three consecutive world championships in the 242 pound class in 1975, 1976, and 1977.
Even though Doug’s career was much shorter than that of many other top powerlifters, he became a sort of legend in the sport. For one thing, he had what may have been the most impressive body in the history of powerlifting. He had almost freakishly broad shoulders, a thick chest, a bull-neck, narrow hips, trim joints, sharp muscularity, and a deep tan; and this combination created an indelible impression on everyone who saw him in his prime. He also had a flair for the dramatic on the platform, and a style in the bench press that featured the slowest take-down I’ve ever seen in my almost 50 years in the sport. All of us wondered how it was possible to take what seemed like ten seconds to lower 500 or 600 pounds to the chest and still have the strength to elevate the weight.
His legend grew to some extent because for many years he dropped completely out of the PL scene, retreating to his beloved horses, his family, and his work on the railroad. Naturally reclusive, he was hard to reach and reluctant to discuss his lifting with people he didn’t know. Fairly soon after his retirement from lifting, Doug had a horrific accident on the train when he accidentally touched a pair of live wires in the engine room of the locomotive. For a time he was literally pinned to the metal bulkhead of the engine by the current from the wires. Finally, fire shooting from his fingertips and head, he wrenched himself free, but the accident left him with major, permanent damage to his lower back and hip. From then on he was never pain-free, and he went through some dark years. He was set back even further when his beloved brother and hero, the All-Pro NFL lineman Bob Young, died at the age of only 53. That death was hard on all of us who loved Bob, and Doug’s wife, Beverly, told us that for a full month after Bob died, Doug rode his lawnmower over the grounds of their home all day, every day--just circling and crying--stopping only to refill the gas-tank. When we saw Doug this past Friday night it was hard to watch how difficult it was for him to walk down the one flight of stairs at the motel. But even though he could never escape the pain and debility, he had at last come to what seemed to be another happy time in his life. He lived on a horse ranch in a family compound outside of Abilene. His older son, Payton, a top rodeo hand, lived in one home at the ranch with his wife and three daughters; Doug lived in another home; and Doug’s mother, Laverne, lived in the third house. Doug told me on the way to the steakhouse that he was doing what he’d always wanted to do—train racehorses with his son, and watch his grandchildren learn to ride. But make no mistake, Doug also loved those years when he ruled the sport of powerlifting, and his eyes lit up and even misted over a bit last Friday night as we spoke—all too briefly—about his old pals and the glory days when the sun was always shining and no weight was unliftable.