A Crossfit training class in 2013 inspired Shirlee Petrat to learn and compete in Olympic lifting.
“I didn’t feel very fit and I didn’t feel very strong,” Petrat said about her introduction to lifting. “When I began the sport, I was so weak I could not snatch or hold the 15 kilogram bar overhead.”
But in the years following, Petrat, now 54, has broken records in lifting.
She is now competing in lifting competitions in Canada and around the world.
While Petrat did not stay with the Crossfit training program, she became interested in Olympic lifting and soon hired a coach to help her learn the lifts.
After a year and a half, she competed in her first lifting event, the Ogopogo Lifting Competition in Winfield, in August, 2015.
She finished with a lift of 82 kilograms in total, a marked improvement from her earlier efforts.
She soon hired Guy Greavette, an Olympic lifter who competed in the 1988 games in Seoul, South Korea. She said the decision to hire Greavette helped her to improve as a lifter.
“My last year’s lifting total broke all the records except for one,” she said.
Petrat is continuing to lift and has been accepted to compete in the World Masters Games in Auckland, New Zealand next April.
She hopes to set a new lifting total and win in her age and weight category.
Before attending the World Masters Games, she hopes to set a provincial record in March.
She will also compete at the Ogopogo Lifting Meet in August, where she hopes to beat her 82-kilogram lifting total and also beat the world record of 87 kilograms.