Hall of Fame to cel­e­brate tonight

The Glengarry News - - Sports In The Glens - Files from Lynn Mac­nab The Glen­garry News.

The Glen­garry Sports Hall of Fame’s an­nual in­duc­tion cer­e­mony and din­ner is sched­uled for tonight, Aug. 17, at the CharLan Rec. Cen­tre, in Wil­liamstown, where five new in­ductees will be cel­e­brated, along with 15 grad­u­at­ing high school ath­letes who have ex­celled in their sports.

Frank Mor­ris is booked as the fea­tured guest speaker.

What fol­lows is the fifth of five bios of this year’s in­ductees.

World- class pow­er­lifter, Ray­mond Gibbs, who got his start hoist­ing car parts and steel pipes, is hon­oured to be in­ducted into the Glen­garry Sports Hall of Fame this month.

The four-time Cana­dian and nine-time On­tario cham­pion has lifted in over 30 com­pe­ti­tions and cred­its his sweet suc­cess to Alexan­dria and his many friends, in­clud­ing Ron Pat­tyn (past owner of Alexan­dria’s Pat­tyn’s Gym) and Cameron McCormick, for his suc­cesses.

The 57-year-old no longer com­petes, but claims his love for weightlift­ing started at the age of 13 while vis­it­ing a cousin in Mon­treal.

Ac­cord­ing to his wife Lynn, who was also a world-class com­peti­tor, he was ob­sessed.

“He had no weights of his own, so when he got home, he started train­ing with old car parts, steel pipes, and even stones he found on their fam­ily farm on the 6th of Kenyon. Once he got to high school, he used the makeshift weights in the fur­nace room.”

Gibbs at­tended GDHS (Glen­garry Dis­trict High School) 1973-1977. While go­ing to school, he also played foot­ball, hockey, and soc­cer, but body­build­ing be­came his pas­sion.

“The turn­ing point hap­pened in 1977 when he was in­tro­duced to pow­er­lift­ing af­ter Ron showed him a mag­a­zine,” says Lynn. “They started train­ing to­gether in Ron’s base­ment gym. Af­ter at­tend­ing a world class pow­er­lift­ing event in 1979 in Day­ton, Ohio, Ray was hooked.”

The strength sport re­quires con­tes­tants to at­tempt three types of lifts in a set se­quence: squat, bench press, and dead­lift.

Gibbs moved to Ot­tawa in 1980, where he and McCormick started se­ri­ously train­ing at the YMCA.

In­ter­est­ingly enough, Gibbs met his wife, Lynn, while train­ing, and to­day they have two boys, Bren­dan, 29, and Colin, 26.

While they’re very sports­minded, play­ing hockey and lacrosse, nei­ther have taken up their par­ents’ pas­sion.

From 1986 through 1995 (ex­cept for 1990), Gibbs took home the On­tario pow­er­lift­ing cham­pi­onship.

He was the win­ner of the Cana­dian com­pe­ti­tion in 1988, ’89, ’92, and ’95.

Be­fore head­ing to the worlds level him­self, he coached Lynn while she com­peted in women’s pow­er­lift­ing at the world cham­pi­onships in Syd­ney, Aus­tralia, in 1987.

He then went on to place 7th in Perth, Aus­tralia’s worlds in 1988, 6th in Nova Sco­tia in 1989, and 13th in Birm­ing­ham, Eng­land in 1992.

In 1985, he won top hon­ours at the Can-Am Pow­er­lift­ing Open Sun­day at Tup­per Lake, New York and was win­ner in the 100kilo class.

He was fea­tured on CTV’s Re­gional Con­tact, where he was in­ter­viewed and asked about his ath­letic ac­com­plish­ments and fu­ture goals.

In 1988, Gibbs, along with the Pat­tyn’s Gym team, took first prize in the 100-kilo class in the men’s Cana­dian Pow­er­lift­ing Cham­pi­onships held in Win­nipeg.

That same year, he qual­i­fied for worlds that would take him back to the coun­try where he coached Lynn the year be­fore. They were be­ing held in Perth, Aus­tralia, and as it was so far away and ex­pen­sive, his friends and col­leagues held a ben­e­fit dance to raise funds.

Gibbs worked for On­tario Hy­dro and trained in any gym where his job would take him, even af­ter he climbed power poles all day.

In ad­di­tion to his plat­form suc­cess, Gibbs founded the Ot­tawa Strong Pow­er­lift­ing Club in 1993. He was pres­i­dent of the On­tario Pow­er­lift­ing As­so­ci­a­tion and, like his wife, is a provin­cially sanc­tioned pow­er­lift­ing ref­eree.

He’s now re­tired from the util­ity com­pany but is dab­bling in bee keep­ing and mak­ing or­ganic honey at their Greely home, ap­pro­pri­ate since he comes from the Gibbs line of honey mak­ers near Dalkeith.

“I no longer com­pete but have great mem­o­ries of those days,” says Gibbs.

“The great­est time was in 1994 at the Cana­dian Cham­pi­onships in Antigo­nish, Nova Sco­tia. I trav­elled there by train with my seven-year-old son, Bren­dan, and did my per­sonal best of 767.50 ki­los.”

Gibbs still works out three to four times a week and con­tin­ues to be a strong ad­vo­cate for the sport of pow­er­lift­ing, while mak­ing honey and rel­ish­ing in the sweet suc­cess.

Also slated for in­duc­tion are Barry Bethune, the Char-Lan ju­nior ‘B’ Rebels team of 1986, Ce­cilia Cor­nelis­sen O’Neil, and Bryan McKen­zie. Sto­ries about these in­ductees were pub­lished in ear­lier edi­tions of

ONE OF FIVE IN­DUCTEES

RAY­MOND GIBBS: 2016

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