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December Athlete Spotlight: John Van Beuren 2022 and 2023 World Champion

Sometimes referred to as John “The Mountain” Van Beuren, that title is no joke as he steps in at whopping 6’8″ and 320lbs!

John started his journey as a collegiate thrower for Northwest Nazarene University where he competed in Shot Put, Discus, and Hammer. He currently still holds the school’s hammer and weight throw records!

In 2018, John signed up for his first Highland Games in Nampa, Idaho shortly after he graduated college. He was instantly hooked. Here we are 5 years later and he’s in his third year competing as a Pro Highland Games Athlete. He competed as an amateur from 2018 until 2021 where he made his professional debut in Salt Lake City Utah. As a professional, he won the National Championship in 2022, and he’s the back-to-back World Champion for 2022 and 2023. John currently still holds the amateur weight over bar world record at 18′ 8″. 

When John isn’t working, training, or lifting, he enjoys playing the other Scottish sport, golf! Although he says he’s not nearly as good at that one!


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Genesis Moss Keefer

Genesis Moss Keefer

My name is Genesis, and I'm an American of Scottish descent. I am also the creator of and the host of the Celebrating Scotland podcast! Like most of you, I have a passion for my Scottish heritage and ancestral history. When not traveling to different Highland Games and Festivals across southern California, you can usually find me listening to bagpipes and drinking Guinness. I have a Master's degree in Scottish Heritage from the University of Aberdeen in addition to being a Fellow with the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. I am also a member of the Scottish American Athletics Association in addition to Scottish Heritage USA, and the Clan Campbell Society of North America.
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