The first time Gibsons’s Thomas Johnston ever left the province, he returned with a gold medal from nationals.
Now, his second-ever trip out of province will be to Turkey in the fall, where the powerlifter will compete in the International Powerlifting Federation world championships for team Canada.
Nineteen-year-old Johnston placed first in the Junior 105 kilogram weight class at the Canadian Powerlifting Union Nationals in St. John’s, NL, last month.
Johnston said it felt “pretty good,” to win the championships. To “see everything kind of play out how I worked for.”
In the squat Johnston lifted 272.5 kg (600 lb); in benchpress, Johnston lifted 157.5 kg (347 lb); and in deadlift, Johnston lifted 310 kg (683 lb).
Johnston has been weightlifting for five years now, he says, and got into it through other sports – hockey and lacross. He now trains a Sluggers Family Gym in Gibsons and started competing this past year. St. John’s was his third competition. Turkey will be his fourth.
When asked what he likes about powerlifting, Johnston said he enjoyed having something to constantly push himself in and the experiences of meeting new people at competitions.
The Sunshine Coast’s Lily Riggs also competed in St. John’s last month, coming in second in her weight class.