Quite a haul: Local powerlifter keeps hoisting gold medals

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While each world event has special moments, Sault’s Holly Lasante said the latest championships were memorable because a rival team helped her overcome an injury

Powerlifting has been an integral part of Holly Lasante’s life for an extended period.

Regardless of how long she’s been involved in the sport, there’s always a new feeling for her, especially with each World Championship appearance.

The Sault Ste. Marie resident recently competed in the International Powerlifting Federation World Masters Powerlifting Championship in Mongolia.

“It’s always like the first time,” Lasante said. “Having competed at Worlds a couple more times, it felt personally that I put more pressure on myself to be more successful just because I had done it before, but it was amazing.”

The trip, in addition to being the experience of a lifetime, was also a successful one for Lasante, who returned home with three gold medals.

The trip was the furthest Lasante has ever traveled for a competition. The 30-hour trip took her from Sault Ste. Marie to Toronto to San Francisco to Soeul, South Korea to Mongolia.

“The city itself is very old. It was like you were going into a different world,” Lasante said. “There were Buddhist temples. You’re in the desert. Where we would see cows on the road, there were camels and yaks. People were wearing traditional clothing. It was incredible.”

A multi-time world champion, Lasante says it’s an unimaginable feeling.

“Never, growing up, would I have ever thought that one day I’m going to be the world champion in something,” Lasante said. “It’s crazy. I have goals still that I want to do.”

Lasante said among those goals are some world records that she would like to attempt down the road.

The camaraderie in the sport has always been something that stands out for Lasante in the sport and it was on full display at this year’s worlds.

“You want everyone to be successful,” Lasante said. “You want to be successful yourself, but you really want everybody to have their best day as well.”

Lasante spoke of a back injury suffered prior to competing that left her in a position where it was uncomfortable just to sit up, let alone compete.

In a discussion with a Canadian team coach about the injury, the coach spoke with a member of the Norwegian team about her injury and one of the Norwegian team members was a physiotherapist. The physiotherapist worked with Lasante to help her get ready to compete.

“She immediately came over and was like: ‘Hey, let me help you and I’ll fix you up for your competition,’” Lasante said.

The injury was a rib that was out of place.

“This was minutes before I was able to compete,” Lasante added.

In competition, Lasante went on to win three gold medals, including medals in the squat (137.5 kilos) and deadlift (167.5 kilos) as well as capturing an overall gold to give her a second world title.

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