Nowhere to go but up for world record holder

Pow­er­lifter fo­cused on bet­ter­ing stan­dard he set in Czech Repub­lic

Calgary Herald - - SPORTS - RITA MINGO

At first, it was a no. Two min­utes later, it was a yes. That’s the time it took for Bryce Krawczyk’s emo­tions to do a 180-de­gree turn, and, in the end, he was the proud owner of a world record.

Krawczyk, a na­tive of Moose Jaw, Sask., who’s been liv­ing in Cal­gary these past three years, took part last month in the In­ter­na­tional Pow­er­lift­ing Fed­er­a­tion Open World cham­pi­onships in Pilsen, Czech Repub­lic, and re­turned bear­ing not only a gold medal for his ef­forts but a world record in dead-lift. He hefted the bar at 388 kg, sur­pass­ing the pre­vi­ous record by 0.5 kg. But it wasn’t cut and dried. “Ev­ery time you per­form a lift, there are three judges that es­sen­tially give the lift a ‘Yea’ or a ‘Nay,’ ” Krawczyk ex­plained. “A white light or a red light. These judges are over­seen by an­other panel of judges known as the jury. What hap­pened was I per­formed the lift and two of the three judges deemed it not ac­cept­able. I hadn’t fin­ished the lift to com­ple­tion. I hadn’t locked it out ac­cord­ing to those judges. But the jury over­turned that de­ci­sion and deemed it a good lift.

“So I was in the back, get­ting ready for my next lift, and my coach went over to the jury and ap­pealed the de­ci­sion. They over­turned it and gave me the world record. So I didn’t find out that I had bro­ken the record un­til well af­ter think­ing I had not made it.”

The jury typ­i­cally ren­ders its de­ci­sion quickly, but Krawczyk had al­ready for­got­ten about it.

“It was great to find out that I had made the lift,” Krawczyk ac­knowl­edged. “It was a very eu­phoric mo­ment, and I had a sec­ond to cel­e­brate. But be­cause of the way it was pre­sented, men­tally, I had to move on and focus on my next lift. It was in­ter­est­ing be­cause I put it be­hind me and then it was brought back up and I was very ex­cited and then I was, ‘OK, I have to put it be­hind me again.’ In the mo­ment, I didn’t have the time or ca­pac­ity to re­ally cel­e­brate un­til af­ter­wards ... and cel­e­brate we did!”

The 30-year-old — who runs a com­pany that of­fers pow­er­lift­ing train­ing and coach­ing — made it onto the six-mem­ber Team Canada by win­ning na­tion­als in Fe­bru­ary. He be­gan weightlift­ing in 2007, recre­ation­ally at first.

“I was a skinny guy,” Krawczyk said. “I didn’t want to be a skinny guy any­more.”

He be­gan look­ing at ca­reers in the field, did some train­ing for a bou­tique startup gym in Regina and had his first com­pe­ti­tion in De­cem­ber 2012.

“At the time, it was a rush, and I loved it, and it con­sumed me,” Krawczyk said. “I wanted to get bet­ter at it. It was prob­a­bly in 2014 when I won a provin­cial cham­pi­onship. It came down to the very last lift, and my com­peti­tor and I were head-to-head through­out and re­ally watch­ing each other’s lifts. It was a re­ally in­tense bat­tle. The rush that I got out of that was ab­so­lutely in­cred­i­ble. Com­ing out vic­to­ri­ous in that com­pe­ti­tion was what made me think I might be pretty good at this. I should push this and see how far I can go, see what kind of run I can take. That’s when the flip switched to want to com­pete at a high level.”

The 2018 na­tional cham­pi­onships will be in Cal­gary in Fe­bru­ary, and the clas­sic world cham­pi­onships will also be in the city in June.

“I’ve been look­ing for­ward to com­pet­ing at an in­ter­na­tional level — home-field ad­van­tage — so hope­fully I can put to­gether some­thing pretty great for that com­pe­ti­tion,” said Krawczyk, who for now will en­joy his worl­drecord sta­tus.

“Feels pretty crazy. As an ath­lete at this level, I’ve al­ways set my eyes on the next thing. I set a world record in early 2016 in the dead-lift in the clas­sic di­vi­sion, and that was quickly bro­ken. These things, they change very quickly. For me, the big­gest thing is get­ting stronger and break­ing it again and push­ing it higher. It’s a very on­wards and up­wards-type thing.”

BRIT­TON LED­ING­HAM

Cal­gary’s Bryce Krawczyk dead­lifted a world-record 388 kg in the 105 kg di­vi­sion at the In­ter­na­tional Pow­er­lift­ing Fed­er­a­tion World Open Pow­er­lift­ing Cham­pi­onships in Pilsen, Czech Repub­lic, last month.

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