Worth the weight
HIGH Wycombe resident Ben Wright spends most of his spare time at a bar – not drinking, but lifting almost 200kg in preparation for the Commonwealth Games.
The 30-year-old para-powerlifter, who was born with spina bifida, has come into contention for a gold medal at the Games after he was named the strongest man in Australia for his category at the end of 2017.
Wright, who qualified for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014, will head to the Gold Coast at the end of the month to compete in the under-88kg weight class on April 10.
With a personal best in competition of 178kg and 181kg in training, the drafting designer said he was excited for the Games because it would be the first time his family and friends had the opportunity to watch him compete.
“The prospect of a home Games and being able to compete in front of a crowd of supporters is an amazing feeling and one that I'm sure I will remember for the rest of my life,” he said.
“My goals for the Games are to compete to my best ability, to finish with a personal best on the platform and to enjoy everything that comes with a home Games. There are not many people who get this experience so I intend to soak in all it has to offer.”
Wright, an avid basketballer who has been powerlifting for about 17 years, said he enjoyed the challenge the sport brought and he had no one else to rely on but himself.
“What I love about powerlifting is that it is just me and the bar,” he said.
“In powerlifting you only have yourself, if you don’t put in the work, if things don’t go right on the day, you only have yourself to blame.
“It makes you take responsibility for your own efforts and actions.”
Training five times a week at the WA Institute of Sport in Claremont, Wright is one half of the Dung Beetles with Mandurah resident Nang Nguyen.
When deciding their team name, Wright said the pair decided to follow the “old-age practice of choosing a fierce animal”.
“I read an article that said there is a species of dung beetle that can move 1141 times it's body weight,” he said.
“The slogan (is) ‘we push heavy s***’.”