Emmy Vargas has been involved in the sport of weightlifting and the Olympic movement for more than 20 years as an athlete and administrator. She currently serves as the owner and head coach of Barbarian Barbell, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization created based on the belief that sport in general, and weightlifting in particular, can make a significant impact on the lives of its participants.
A well-known figure in weightlifting, Vargas competed at the national and international level for 11 years, during which time she competed at World Championships and won a silver medal at the 2007 Pan Am Games. Upon her retirement from competitive weightlifting, she served on USA Weightlifting’s Board of Directors for two terms as the USOC’s Athlete Advisory Council Representative. During her eight years with the Athlete Advisory Council, Vargas worked on several committees, one of which focused on submitting recommendations to WADA during its Code Review Process.
With USAW’s Board of Directors, Vargas also developed coaching and educational programs, increased membership, and improved the organization’s footprint internationally. As a result of those organizational changes, USAW was able to bring the 2015 Senior World Championships to Houston, Texas, which was the first time in more than 40 years that a major senior international weightlifting championship was held on American soil.
Vargas earned an B.A. in liberal studies, with a minor in biology, from California State University, Northridge, and secured her M.B.A. in business intelligence and data analytics from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management as a scholarship recipient from USOC/DeVry’s educational partnership.