A little while ago, I did an Olympic Weight Lifting Clinic coached by Kelly and had a good time chucking weights around in the gym and nearly whacking myself with them. Although this isn’t a sport for everyone, it is something that is recognized by the IOC as an Olympic Sport. Sure it isn’t as flashy as the spectacle of swimming made famous by Michael Phelps, but it is an Olympic Sport nonetheless.
Kelly has been training for this sport for almost a year now and she has her sights set on heading to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Unlike big sport in the US, she basically puts in hours outside of work to train for her chosen sport and puts away money to get her there by coaching for CrossFit Vancouver and running the Olympic Weight Lifting Clinics. However, things didn’t come together for her till she met up with her current coach, Dan.
Dan has been instrumental in her progress as an Olympic Weightlifter. He has taken her from a 35kg snatch and 60kg clean and has prepared her to post a 65kg snatch and 82kg Clean and Jerk at next month’s National Championships. Dan’s many years of experience on the Nigerian Weightlifting Team, both as an athelete and as a coach has truly paid off for Kelly. Between volunteering his time to coach Kelly, he also coaches Parm Phangura, one of Canada’s Super Heavyweight Olympic Weightlifters and member of the Canadian National Team. When not coaching, he makes ends meet as a part time as a Safety Coordinator on Construction Sites. Kelly has often said that “beyond his coaching abilities, he is an amazing person”.
Five years ago, he decided that he wanted a better life for his family so he moved to Canada from Nigeria and claimed refugee status. He left behind his wife and his three month old daughter at the time, which he hasn’t seen since, to take the necessary steps to become a Canadian resident so that he could bring his family with him. Five years later, his hard work has paid off and he is now able to reunite with his family in Canada. Unfortunately, flights aren’t cheap and neither is the process of becoming a citizen. However, Dan has proven himself a true Canadian, selflessly helping the sporting community and placing Canada’s finest on the podium.
Kelly has decided to help Dan out by holding an Olympic Weightlifting Clinic in Dan’s honor. All proceeds from this clinic will go directly to Dan to help pay for his family to come to Canada. She’s hoping that if you’re able to make it, that you come out and support Dan by learning how to chuck weights around. Believe me, it’s sort of scary, but fun all at the same time.
The clinic will be held at Crossfit Vancouver on November 1st from 12:00 – 3:00 PM. I know this is during Dot Com Pho time, but I’m cutting out to do the clinic and I hope that you’ll join me. If you aren’t able to attend, Kelly is accepting donations, but she does hope that you’ll be able to make it. For more information on how to sign up, please check out this link. See you all there next week!