- At the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, Alexis Ashworth, Team Canada’s newest member, will compete in weightlifting.
Alexis Ashworth, Team Canada’s newest member, will compete in weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, this summer with a group of eight females from throughout the country.
“It’s a fantastic feeling to represent our country on that level,” Ashworth added.
The 2022 Canadian Trials, held earlier this year in Toronto, were Ashworth’s first-ever out-of-province meet, and she qualified for the event. She set new personal bests in the 71 kg weight class, finishing first overall.
She’ll be competing in her first major international tournament in just a few months.
“It’s a dream come true to compete against some of the top athletes in the world… and to have some other Canadian weightlifters on my side,” Ashworth added.
Ashworth, who grew up on a farm outside Oungre, Saskatchewan, only started weightlifting in 2020. She was a CrossFit athlete at the moment, but her strength was with the barbell, so after some advice, she received during a CrossFit tournament in Saskatoon, she decided to focus on that.
“One of the events was a max clean, and the gym owner persuaded me to compete in a weightlifting contest because I did so well in it,” Ashworth explained.
When Ashworth initially started weightlifting, she had goals she wanted to reach, but she also used them as a stress reliever.
“It was an escape from school and life’s burden,” she explained. “In some ways, it’s healing.”
“All you have to do is touch the barbell, and everything goes away for a moment.”
Then, as she witnessed her development in the sport, she set higher goals for herself. She is now ranked No. 1 in Canada after two and a half years.
“I’m incredibly proud of how far I’ve progressed,” Ashworth added. “I’ve had different coaches aid me in different ways, but I’ve never had a professional weightlifting coach.”
Until she hired Wil Fleming, a certified coach with 1Kilo Weightlifting in Indiana, two weeks ago, Ashworth will now email her coach films to be analyzed move-by-move regularly.
“That’s going to be a huge game-changer for me to continue to succeed in the sport,” Ashworth said.
While she will seek to increase her totals for the Commonwealth Games in August, Ashworth also aims to qualify for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.
“It’s a difficult objective, but why wouldn’t I give it my all since I’ve gone this far in such a short time?” Ashworth said.
“I’ll probably regret it if I don’t aim for it.”
She will not be sorry for the time she spent at the gym, traveling the world, and living life. This September, Ashworth will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and will continue to strive to balance her sport and her job for as long as she can.
“It will be a wonderful summer of travel and weightlifting,” Ashworth said. “I’m aware that weightlifting will not be a part of my life for the rest of my life.”
“I’m going to retire from the sport eventually, so I’m just trying to enjoy these moments now, knowing that I’ll look back and think they were probably the best years of my life.”
Source: Global News