Sch­warzeneg­ger cheers Perry’s Cove na­tive’s win


Two for­mer res­i­dents of Con­cep­tion Bay North took part in the an­nual Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger Sports Fes­ti­val held in Colum­bus, Ohio ear­lier this month. And one of them caught the at­ten­tion of the world-renowned body­builder, ac­tor and Cal­i­for­nia Gov­er­nor when he won Best Over­all in the com­pe­ti­tion.

Jeff Butt of Perry’s Cove, who now lives in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and Steve Pow­ell (Carbonear), who re­sides in Win­nipeg, Man­i­toba par­tic­i­pated as part of a 10-per­son Cana­dian Team com­pet­ing against dif­fer­ent US re­gions.

“There are 37 sports from power lift­ing, weightlift­ing, body­build­ing, strong­man, mixed mar­tial arts, etc.,” Butt ex­plains.

Some 17,000 ath­letes par­tic­i­pated in the Expo at­tended by 160,000 vis­i­tors.

“There were 3,000-3,500 spec­ta­tors for our event (March 7) and one of the best at­mos­pheres I have ever com­peted in,” says Butt, whose lifts were 635 lb. squat, 518 bench press and 667 lb. dead lift in the 198-pound weight class.

Butt won his weight class and Best Over­all Mid­dleweight. Pow­ell won his weight class (220 lbs) as well.

“We both won our weight classes and we were third in the team points — un­der nor­mal in­ter­na­tional rules, we would have fin­ished first,” says Butt.

That’s be­cause in most in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion the top six fin­ish­ers get points — 12 points for winning a class, nine points for sec­ond, eight for third, seven for fourth and so on.

“As a team, Canada had four wins and two sec­ond-place fin­ishes which is 66 of a pos­si­ble 72 points. For this com­pe­ti­tion they just took every­one’s pounds-for-pounds rank­ing and added them, so we fin­ished third by this type of scor­ing.”

Pow­ell’s wife An­nette (nee Bat- ton) who lifted March 6, fin­ished fourth in her divi­sion.

There were a num­ber of celebri­ties on hand for the event in­clud­ing Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger, who cheered dur­ing Butt’s fi­nal lift to win the over­all ti­tle.

“I also met Ul­ti­mate Fight­ers For­rest Grif­fin, David Louiseau, Ba­balu and Matt Hamel,” Butt said. “Lou Fer­rigno, The In­cred­i­ble Hulk was there and Fury from the Amer­i­can Glad­i­a­tors, stopped and talked to me and some of my train­ing part­ners for 15 to 20 min­utes. Many other celebri­ties were present, but there wasn’t enough time to meet them all.”

Butt ex­plains power lift­ing is dif­fer­ent from weightlift­ing in that power lift­ing is a com­bi­na­tion of three lifts: squat, bench press and dead lift, while weightlift­ing has two lifts: clean and jerk and the snatch.

From here to there

Af­ter Butt com­pleted a com­mu­nity recre­ation lead­er­ship course in St. John’s, he moved to Cor­ner Brook to work with the Y from May of 1995 to Au­gust 1996 when he moved to Moose Jaw, Sask. as a pro­gram co­or­di­na­tor for the YMCA there.

“I got in­volved with coach­ing other power lifters in­clud­ing Spe­cial Olympics,” he says.

That led him to part time work at an in­sti­tu­tion in Moose Jaw that housed peo­ple with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties.

Since 2003, he’s been pro­gram di­rec­tor with a com­mu­nity-based or­ga­ni­za­tion for peo­ple with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties in Moose Jaw.

“We have six homes with two to six par­tic­i­pants in each and we have an­other 35 par­tic­i­pants that live on their own in the com­mu­nity,” he says.

Butt coaches one of the top power lift­ing teams in the coun­try.

“We have ap­prox­i­mately 12 world class power lifters that train to­gether.”

He’s run two World Mas­ters Cham­pi­onships in Saskatchewan for 40 years and older, and in Novem­ber 2008 he ran the World Open Cham­pi­onships at the Delta in St. John’s where he was meet di­rec­tor.

There he won a medal in the bench press and fin­ished sixth over­all — his best World’s fin­ish, he says.

Butt has won three na­tional power-lift­ing cham­pi­onships and five na­tional bench press cham­pi­onships (North Amer­ica’s in 2005).

The sport has taken him all over the world as a teacher and coach.

In 2007 he coached the Spe­cial Olympics Na­tional Team in China (fea­tured on TSN). He also coached the top fe­male lifter in the coun­try who broke a world ju­nior (un­der 23) bench press record at the Sch­warzeneg­ger event.

“She is a for­mer un­der 18 top lifter in the World Cham­pi­onships and is now 20 years old.”

The Perry’s Cove na­tive says he tries to make it home ev­ery year.

“Be­cause of the Worlds last year (St. John’s) I was home three times.”

Mean­while, he and Steve Pow­ell aren’t ex­actly strangers. Pow­ell in­tro­duced Butt to power lift­ing in Carbonear to­wards the end of 1992. Cur­rently they live about six hours apart.

“We live pretty close to each other and we usu­ally at­tend all the same events that are held on the Prairies.”

Pho­tos sub­mit­ted

FAN - Ac­tor and Cal­i­for­nia Gov­er­nor Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger was one of the fans on hand for the Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger Sports Fes­ti­val in Colum­bus, Ohio ear­lier this month, where a na­tive of Perry’s Cove was one of a 10-per­son Cana­dian team.

BEST OVER­ALL - Jeff Butt, a na­tive of Perry’s Cove won the Best Over­all mid­dleweight at the Arnold sport’s fes­ti­val. From left are: Ashley Awalt (USA - top fe­male), Eric Oishi (Brazil - top light­weight), Butt (top mid­dleweight), and Mike Mas­trean (USA - top heavy­weight).

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