Pontiac resident wins silver at Canadian Powerlifting Championships

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Michele Gagnon won second place at the National Powerlifting Championships, February 17.

Allyson Beauregard



Michele Gagnon won second place at the National Powerlifting Championships, February 17.

Allyson Beauregard

FORT-COULONGE – Michele Gagnon, a Fort-Coulonge resident and owner of Shawville’s Savourez, recently won the silver medal at the Canadian Powerlifting Championships in Regina, Sasketchewan, February 17. Gagnon competed in the 84 kg weight class and successfully lifted a total of 392.5 kilograms. Marianne Marchildon from Sasketchewan won the gold.
“Powerlifting is a test of full body strength where competitors max out their efforts on the back squat, bench press and deadlift,” said Gagnon.
The first place winners in each category were automatically qualified to compete in the World Championships in Texas in June. “I have to submit an application to be part of the Canadian team,” explained Gagnon, admitting there is only a small chance she would be chosen since she is entered in a pool with many other candidates.
Gagnon said competing in the event wouldn’t have been possible without help from the community, family, and friends. “Everyone came together to help send me to the Nationals by contributing to a GoFundMe campaign. I was in the same room as some of the strongest women in Canada and saw them break National and even unofficial world records. To be around that kind of energy inspires me to push harder, train more, and keep striving to break my own records,” explained Gagnon, who only began training three days a week at the Ultimate Fitness Gym in Renfrew last October. When she isn’t training for powerlifting, Gagnon “works on strengthening all of her weaknesses” at ô Gym in Fort-Coulonge. In total, she trains six days a week. “Every drop of sweat is worth it to me,” she added. Gagnon also teaches kettlebell exerecise classes at St. John’s Elementary in Campbell’s Bay.
Gagnon is already preparing for the next National Championships in Saguenay, QC, February 2017. “Even though I didn’t win first this year, it has motivated me even more, to compete and try harder for next year,” she said, concluding that it’s nice to see so many women competing in Powerlifiting. “It’s such an empowering sport, pushing you to see what your body is capable of, putting the emphasis on what you can do rather than what you look like.”