Power-lifting competition raises $1,300 for Special Olympics

There was a lot of weight being thrown around on Saturday, Feb. 27, at Foothills Mall. The 2010 Power Partners Power Lifting Competition and Special Olympics Fundraiser was organized by Maryville Alcoa Blount County Parks and Recreation and raised $1,300 for Area 15 Special Olympics.

Cookie Crowson, assistant director of Parks and Recreation, said the power lifting competition involved Special Olympics athletes working with non-Special Olympics individuals who partnered with them during the lifts.

“Chip Hultquist was our event manager,” said Crowson. “He had athletes competing in that event, coming from as far away as Alabama, Georgia and other parts of Tennessee,” she said. “It was a regional event, and it was just awesome. One of the Special Olympics athletes lifted over 600 pounds in a dead lift, and there were some who actually set records. It was another neat event, and we’re excited about it.”

Jennifer Russell, Parks and Recreation program assistant, said Hultquist works each year to get sponsors for the event.

“It went really well. We had the most competitors we’ve ever had in that event in that location, and we’ve been doing this for about nine years,” Hultquist said. “It is a combination fundraiser and competition for Special Olympics athletes and their partners.”

Hultquist said the power partners evolved out of Special Olympic Unified Sports where there would be a Special Olympics athlete paired with a non-Special Olympics athlete. “It’s a lot of fun and a way for Special Olympics athletes to be integrated into general sports,” he said. “It works great. In a lot of cases, athletes are training with their partners and have trained for weeks and sometimes months and are in a sense a team and they compete with other teams.”

Special Olympics athlete Louis Maxwell from Fort Valley, Ga., came close to breaking a Special Olympics world record. “He dead-lifted 650 pounds on his second attempt and tried for 677 pounds, which would’ve been a Special Olympics world record. He got it up and hitched it up with his leg and didn’t get the lift,” Hultquist said.

Hultquist said in addition to the Special Olympics powerlifting, an open weightlifting competition for non-Special Olympics athletes was held as part of the fundraiser. “This weekend we had Special Olympics athletes and their partners lifting and we also had an open competition - USA Power Lifting - which is an open federation where we have a lot of lifters competing,” he said. “We had Special Olympics Power Partners and the Tennessee State Open competition for a total of 40 lifters. About half of that was Special Olympians and the other half open competitors.”

The money raised at the event came from a combination of the event programs sold, entry fees and donations. “That seems to work well. In the mall, you can’t charge admission. What the mall allows us to do is to show off Special Olympics athletes’ abilities,” he said.

“This gives the athletes the opportunity to exceed the public’s expectations of them.”

Sponsors included:

• Rapid Flow Propane

• Out of Eden Garden Center

• Eric Waters Insurance Agency

• Therapeutic Balance Bodywork

• Duggan’s Men’s Store

• Ron’s Auto Outlet

• Scrappin’ in the Foothills

• Ken’s Motors

• The Rush Fitness Center

• Myers Construction

• Dr. Kenneth Kant and Family

• Hartman’s Flowers

• Century 21 - David Kemp

• Designers Touch Hair and Skin

• Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant

• Treasures Fine Jewelers

• Gondolier Restaurant

• Razberries

• Mattress Direct

• Dynabody

• Merle Norman

• CrossFit

• MainStay Suites on Alcoa Highway

• Alcoa, Inc.

For more photos go to www.BlountToday.com

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