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A Kelowna weightlifter goes toe-to-toe with the best in the world in Thailand

A Kelowna weightlifter goes toe-to-toe with the best in the world in Thailand

Kayla Shepherd, from the Kelowna Vikings Powerlifting Club, will represent Canada on the world stage

A Kelowna powerlifter is headed to the world championships in Thailand this spring.

Kayla Shepherd has only competed in Olympic-style weightlifting for four years, her coach Jay Griffitt said.

“I've progressed well,” he said.

Greavette is the head coach of the Kelowna Vikings Weightlifting Club. With pride in his voice, Griffett said that in Shepherd's short time with the club, she has become one of Canada's top weightlifters and hopes to one day compete in the Olympics.

He explained that there is a ranking algorithm for all male and female Olympic lifters in all weight classes who compete in Canada. Of all Canada's Olympic weightlifters, Shepherd ranks 20th.

@kelownacapnews The Kelowna athlete is one of the strongest (pound for pound) Olympic weightlifters in Canada. #Olympic Weightlifting #Weight lifting #WomenRaised #kelowna ♬ Beautiful Things – Benson Boone

Griffitt attributes Shepherd's success to her experience as a multi-sport athlete, consistent work ethic, goal setting, and desire to reach her full potential at the highest level.

Shepard's athletic career first began as a dancer. She then began lifting weights in her early teens while competing on the national stage in figure skating. After retiring from downhill competition, Shepherd founded CrossFit.

It wasn't long until Shepard transitioned to Olympic weightlifting and eventually began training full-time with the Vikings. She still competes in Cross Fit competitions occasionally but is mostly focused on Olympic weightlifting.

She now trains weightlifting five days a week, each session lasting two to three hours, in addition to additional exercises to prevent injuries. Coach Griffitt said that leading up to worlds, Shepherd will focus on building size and density.

Read more: 'It's great to be a strong woman': Females give strength Kelowna Powerlifting Club

He said that the 59 kg weight category in which she competes is one of the most competitive.

Shepherd last competed at international level in her second ever international competition, the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships held in India last July. At the Commonwealth meet, Shepherd missed the podium and finished fourth.

Read more: The Canadian weightlifting team trains in Kelowna for the Commonwealth Championships in India

“My last international competition in India was not my best performance,” Shepherd said.

“I didn’t feel confident in my preparation and it showed on the stage.”

Now, Shepherd says she has a full training period ahead of the World Cup in Thailand.

She leveraged her experience in India to win the Western Canadian Powerlifting Championships in November, setting two new provincial records in the process. Shepherd said she was proud to break the overall combined lift record, which has stood for 20 years.

“It's been a tough year but I'm really proud to come back and finish the year on a high, and I'm looking forward to continuing to build from here,” Shepherd said after the Western Championship.

At the upcoming World Championships in Thailand, Shepherd's teammate will be Canadian Olympic champion Maude Charron.

“I'm excited to do more lifts, compete on a much bigger stage, and share the training room with the best athletes in the world,” Shepherd said.

People can follow Shepherd's progress on Vikings Weightlifting Club Location, on Facebook Or on Instagram.

See also  Rich Daniel hopes to play Lionel Mays

Read more: Two Kelowna lifters are representing the country in Colombia

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