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Powerlifting

This page draws together powerlifting-related information for all of Special Olympics. The coaching materials and other links will help you get a good sense of how this sport contributes to Special Olympics.


300 x 200 Powerlifting with IPF Logo

Special Olympics is pleased to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Powerlifting Federation and appreciates the championship competition opportunities the IPF has provided for Special Olympics athletes.View the Powerlifting Fact Sheet

Every athlete aims in lifting more weights than the opponent using specific moves. In Special Olympics Powerlifting is much more than deadlift, squat or bench press. It is effort, persistence and loyalty. Training, determination and attitude, are the key facts that define the balance between a successful or a failed attempt. The barbell, despite testing the physical strength, is also highlighting the athlete’s inner wish to improve, “not to make compromises."

The International Powerlifting Federation, which is the international governing body for the sport of powerlifting, has been supporting Special Olympics lifters for years. In April 2013, the IPF and Special Olympics agreed to work together to grow the sport worldwide for people with intellectual disabilities. For example, Special Olympics athletes competed during the 2013 Women's and Men's World Masters Powerlifting Championships in Orlando, Florida, USA. The IPF has agreed to share its expertise in Special Olympics powerlifting skills workshops.


Powerlifting Stories and News


July 29, 2015 | SOI General: Headquarters

Michigan Powerlifting Champion Excels at World Games

By Brian Smith

U.S. powerlifters had a good day in the gym Tuesday, picking up silver and gold medals for squats, bench press and dead lift. The competition took place on Day 3 of competition at the Special Olympics Summer World Games in Los Angeles. U.S. teammates Chevi Peters and Benjamin Bednarz traded placView Story U.S. powerlifters had a good day in the gym Tuesday, picking up silver and gold medals for squats, bench press and dead lift. The competition took place on Day 3 of competition at the Special Olympics Summer World Games in Los Angeles. U.S. teammates Chevi Peters and Benjamin Bednarz traded places on the podium during the award ceremony – Peters picking up gold in squats and dead lift, while Bednarz scored gold in bench press. Peters was awarded the gold medal for overall performance in the three disciplines. Benjamin Bednarz was particularly happy that the medals were awarded by professional wrestler Mark Henry, WWE’s goodwill ambassador to the World Games. Still pumped from the competition, where he bench-pressed 320 lbs – just shy of his personal best – Bednarz said he was thrilled to be making his first trip to LA, and hoped there would be time for a trip to Disneyland while his family is here. Bednarz, 28, is from Canton, MI.

About Brian Smith:I am volunteering with the Special Olympics team in Los Angeles.
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June 25, 2015 | North America: Michigan

Power Couple: Husband and wife athletes train, compete together

By Haley Burrill

Husband and wife powerlifters Jason and Jamie Peterson

Powerlifters Jason and Jamie Peterson had a little bit more to celebrate than winning a medal during this year's Special Olympics Michigan State Summer Games presented by SpartanNash. This year also marked the couple's 12-year wedding anniversary. "It's different being a married couple in the gamView Story Powerlifters Jason and Jamie Peterson had a little bit more to celebrate than winning a medal during this year's Special Olympics Michigan State Summer Games presented by SpartanNash. This year also marked the couple's 12-year wedding anniversary. "It's different being a married couple in the games, but it's pretty cool too," Jason said. Jason and Jamie have known each other since they were 8-years-old, however, their relationship did not spark until middle school. Around the same time, both decided to get involved with Special Olympics, bringing the couple even closer together. "We pretty much do everything together. We train together, we compete together. Seriously, we are together all the time," Jamie said.

About Haley Burrill:Haley Burrill is a Public Relations and Marketing intern at Special Olympics Michigan.
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June 16, 2015 | North America: Michigan

James Ellison Breaks Michigan Summer Games Powerlifting Record

By Corey Farmer

Athlete James Ellison set new records while competing in the the 2015 State Summer Games powerlifting events in Michigan.View Story Athlete James Ellison set new records while competing in the the 2015 State Summer Games powerlifting events in Michigan. This year, James competed in the squat, bench and deadlift events where the crowd watched in awe as he successfully squatted 500 pounds, which was 35 pounds more than his successful 465 pound squat. "I have only successfully squatted 500 pounds once before, and that was in high school," said James. After breaking a personal record while competing, James went on to break the record for heaviest open dead lift in Summer Games history. James broke the record by dead lifting an incredible 550 pounds. This accomplishment was accompanied by roars of cheers from the crowd as well as James' fellow competitors. The athletes showed true sportsmanship throughout the powerlifting events, celebrating alongside James as he set new records.

About Corey Farmer:Corey Farmer is a Public Relations and Marketing intern at Special Olympics Michigan.
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Powerlifting Competitions

2014 Canada Summer Games

The Special Olympics 2014 Canada Summer Games was the largest Canadian Games ever. See results and teams.


2014 USA Games

The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games ran June 14-21. See results and stories.


2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games

Athens, Greece, was the home of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games. That year, it was the world’s largest sporting event for athletes with intellectual disabilities. See results by athlete, delegation and bib number.


How to Get Involved in Special Olympics

Special Olympics sports training, coaching and competitions go on in more than 170 countries around the world. You can get involved by getting in touch with the closest Special Olympics office.

Special Olympics near you»

Made Possible by The Annenberg Foundation

The Special Olympics movement is profoundly grateful for the support of the Annenberg Foundation which has underwritten the production of the coaches’ guides and resources, supporting our global goals for coaches’ excellence.

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