This past Saturday, there was a powerlifting competition for a good cause. In conjunction with the Good Athlete Project, the powerlifting event was to give competitors a chance to test their strength and raise money for charity.
The Good Athlete Project is meant to support athletes but also unite non-athletes and athletes together for the good of the community. The project uses sports as a way to help others, and the competition was a great example of the impact of the Good Athlete Project. Knox was one of the first schools to have a chapter of the project and seniors Jordan Andersonand Justin Dunn are co-presidents.
The GAP strives to build strong athletes from the ground up. Knox alumni Jim Davis ‘06 began the project after his graduation. It has been implemented at several schools and the Galesburg chapter has done work with the local YMCA and Blessings in a Backpack. Nationally, GAP has done work in Haiti, Boston, Philadelphia, California and Chicago.
St. Olaf had a powerlifting competition earlier in the year, and Dunn thought that Knox should as well. The atmosphere was very positive and friendly.
“It was a wonderful event where the spirit of competition created an atmosphere where everyone was cheering for everyone,” said Dunn via email.
SeniorDalton James was watching the event. He couldn’t participate because of baseball, but he has a passion for lifting and could feel the positivity and uplifting mood throughout the competition.
Freshman Lucas Cruz only competed in one of the lifts due to an ACL tear, but he could still feel the excitement in the room.
“All around everyone supported each other to reach the numbers they wanted,” Cruz said.
Senior Annie Gerdes competed in the event, and the positivity helped her as it was her first competition.
“It was exhilarating, I don’t think I would’ve gotten some of my personal records without people around, cheering,” Gerdes said.
Gerdes is close with students involved in the Good Athlete Project, and she loves how they include the emotional and scientific aspect of being an athlete as well as the charity aspect of the event which made her want to participate even more.
“Definitely was more enticed to do it because it was for charity. As a college student I can use that $15, but you know for charity it’s going towards a good cause,” Gerdes said.
The charity aspect of it also intrigued Cruz to do the lifting as well. “It was an event for charity, so I thought it went to a good cause,” said Cruz.
Senior Duncan Wheeler competed in the competition and had an excellent experience, with it being his first time competing. Wheeler exchanged Instagrams with people from the other schools and made some new friends at the event.
“I met some people, made some friends. I haven’t had that much fun playing a sport in a while honestly,” Wheeler said.
The competitive but friendly vibe of the competition is why all of the participants interviewed said they would do it again.
“We wanted to beat each other, but when a competitor was going for a new personal record or pushing their limits we wanted them to succeed because we know the work that went into those lifts,” Cruz said.