Within the spirit of encouraging and celebrating different athletes, weight lifter and coach Todd Elliott wished “to do one thing totally different” downtown through the Worldwide Bar-B-Q Pageant. Now in its 10th yr, the Worldwide Bar-B-Q Pageant Bench Press & Deadlift Competitors attracts a number of the strongest people in and past the Owensboro space.
“I’ve been weight lifting and bodybuilding since I used to be 14 years outdated — now I’m 57,” Elliott mentioned. “I began coaching quite a lot of these guys. It’s an actual blessing to observe how they progress. This sport right here, it’s not a staff sport — it’s a person effort.”
The hassle displayed by the varied group of female and male rivals Saturday morning on the Owensboro Conference Middle was awe-inspiring. From 62-year-old Jeff Hughart, whose closing deadlift was 560 kilos, to 18-year-old Steven DiGiorgio who set a purpose of breaking the nationwide deadlift document for his age with 700 kilos. DiGiorgio’s highest weight in deadlift final yr through the competitors was 555 kilos.
Whereas every competitor did set and hope to achieve their very own particular person objectives, it was evident from the dad and mom and kids within the crowd, in addition to the gym-sponsored T-shirts, that this was not solely a person occasion.
The hassle displayed by the varied group of female and male rivals Saturday morning on the Owensboro Conference Middle was awe-inspiring. | Photograph by Melody Wallace
DiGiorgio’s father Paul spoke of the quantity of labor the DCHS senior had put in during the last two years, setting new objectives alongside the best way. He additionally shared how Steven and his Apollo Excessive College rival D.C. Boone labored out collectively and pushed one another on the gymnasium, every specializing in their very own occasion.
“The gymnasium household is fairly sturdy,” Paul mentioned, including that, after attaining his purpose right this moment, Steven was planning on pursuing the nationwide document for his age group within the fall in an formally sanctioned meet.
One other member of Steven’s “gymnasium household,” apart from Boone, is world document holder Julius Maddox. Maddox was in attendance on the competitors to help his cousin Chavez Wimsatt and the highschool athletes he mentors, each at Iron Edge Health club and as an Owensboro Excessive College character coach.
“I like to encourage individuals and help individuals to pursue their desires,” Maddox mentioned. “That is sort of the place my profession kickstarted at. This was my first competitors.”
Maddox first participated within the Bar-B-Q Pageant bench press competitors in 2013, only one yr after being incarcerated for drug trafficking.
“The Lord has used this [weight lifting],” Maddox mentioned. “He’s given me this to assist fight the issues I wrestle with — one thing to place my power in direction of. It helps me to be the person he created me to be. [The Lord] and my gymnasium household — which is an enormous purpose why I’m right here right this moment.”
Maddox mentioned he started channeling the power he as soon as put towards utilizing and promoting medicine into one thing extra constructive.
“I began out lifting within the basement of rehab,” Maddox informed the group. “I made a decision as an alternative of the world imposing its will on me, I might begin imposing my will on the world. My purpose was to be one of the best lifter I may very well be. Weight lifting is such an enormous a part of who I’m right this moment. I wouldn’t change my life for something.”