VIDEO: First B.C. powerlifting meet since the pandemic draws more than 100 competitors to Langley

Brookswood lifter Josh Cook admitted to having a few nerves after returning to competition at the Aug. 28 and 29 B.C. Powerlifting Association Open meet in Langley, the first in nearly two years, but he got over it, winning his class and setting a new personal best in the process. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)Brookswood lifter Josh Cook admitted to having a few nerves after returning to competition at the Aug. 28 and 29 B.C. Powerlifting Association Open meet in Langley, the first in nearly two years, but he got over it, winning his class and setting a new personal best in the process. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Chun Ki Wayde Chan, with one of three spotters keeping a close eye, completed his squat at the B.C. Powerlifting Association Open on Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)Chun Ki Wayde Chan, with one of three spotters keeping a close eye, completed his squat at the B.C. Powerlifting Association Open on Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Trong Phat Le lowered his mask to lift at the B.C. Powerlifting Association Open meet in Langley, the first provincial competition in almost two years. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)Trong Phat Le lowered his mask to lift at the B.C. Powerlifting Association Open meet in Langley, the first provincial competition in almost two years. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
James Verano was among more than 100 lifters who took part in the Aug. 28 and 29 B.C. Powerlifting Association Open meet in Langley, the first competition in nearly two years. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)James Verano was among more than 100 lifters who took part in the Aug. 28 and 29 B.C. Powerlifting Association Open meet in Langley, the first competition in nearly two years. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Brookswood resident Josh Cook overcame a minor case of nerves and had a good meet at the 2021 Summer Open Powerlifting and Bench Press Championships Saturday, Aug. 28 and Sunday, Aug. 29 at Trinity Western University’s David E. Enarson Gymnasium.

Cook, 23, won the Junior 105 kilogram unequipped class (no special lifting suit or wraps) and recorded a personal best in the deadlift, hoisting 240 kg.

He admitted to “a little bit of nerves” at returning to competition after being idled, along with every other powerlifter in B.C., for close to two years because of the pandemic.

“I’ve been grinding it out in the gym,” said Cook, who trains at Fitness World.

“It’s good to feel back to normal,” Cook told the Langley Advance Times.

He described himself as “just glad” to be competing again.

The Open was the first provincial powerlifting competition since the pandemic hit, British Columbia Powerlifting Association president Dennis Leong explained.

“Our last meet was in February 2020. It was a qualifier for the Special Olympics,” Leong recalled.

Provincial Return to Play guidelines were in effect at the Langley event, with masks required except when attempting lifts.

More than 100 lifters took part and volunteers made the event work.

“Without them, we wouldn’t have anything,” Leong said.

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Leong said days before the event, people were working to make sure equipment that had been stored for nearly two years was still in good shape, including the computer programs that handle scheduling and track results.

“It went quite well,” Leong summarized.

“At the end of the day, all the lifters formed a human chain to load the [weight] plates into a trailer,” Leong added. “It was good to see the camaraderie.”

The association’s next event sanctioned is set for Sept. 11 in Victoria.

READ ALSO: ‘It’s never too late to get strong’: Aldergrove grandma deadlifts twice her weight for the gold

Powerlifting consists of three events, the squat, bench press, and deadlift.

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