Two Campbell River Special Olympians competed at the 2015 Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships on Dec. 1.
The competition at the Richmond Oval involved participants from among the 23 member nations of the Commonwealth Powerlifting Federation. Special Olympics athletes had their own category and kicked off the whole competition. Twelve Special Olympics B.C. (SOBC) powerlifters from Abbotsford, Campbell River, Chilliwack, Langley, and Vancouver competed alongside two athletes from Special Olympics Great Britain.
This marked the first time in more than 20 years that SOBC powerlifters competed in squat in a major event. In recent years, SOBC athletes have competed only in bench press and deadlift, but the squat was added back in last year after a Performance Program training camp helped coaches strengthen their techniques to teach the event.
The SOBC athletes who competed in squat in the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships – Tye Cranton and Callum Maclagan of SOBC – Campbell River and Todd Moore, Jamie Robinson, and Steven Sykorsky of SOBC – Abbotsford – impressed with their abilities, and more athletes will be ready to compete in the event by the time of the Powerlifting Regional Qualifier next March.
Maclagan posted the highest numbers of the event among all the Special Olympics athletes, posting top numbers of 142.5 kg. in squat, 137.5 kg. in bench press, and 200 kg. in deadlift. He reached the 1,000 kg. club by lifting 1,140 kg. total in all of his successful lifts.
This competition came after the BC Powerlifting Fall Classic in October, where “Cranton and Maclagan both smashed previous personal bests in their lifts. In the deadlift, Cranton pulled 137.5 kg. off the floor and Maclagan benched 137.5 kg. to become the youngest Special Olympics athlete in Canada to bench over 300 kg.”
In a 2015 speech, Cranton said he has developed a great deal as a Special Olympics athlete.
“Special Olympics has let me have the opportunity to be someone extraordinary, to be an athlete, to be a role model, to be a good friend, and to just be me,” he said.
Tye Cranton competes in the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships in Richmond, B.C. on Dec. 1.