Slave Lake will host the 2022 provincial weightlifting championship meet.
It will be over three days in July (COVID rules permitting, of course).
One of the organizers is Khalil Mouallem, himself a competitive weightlifter. His partner in applying for the right to host is Abdul Mouallem, owner of Champions Fitness.
Khalil says they expect 200 or more competitors at the event, which is to run July 8 – 10.
With families (and who knows, maybe even fans) attending, it could be a pretty big thing for the community.
The successful bid was actually announced on Dec. 3, at a provincial tournament in Edmonton. Khalil says he did triple duty at that one, lifting, reffing and handing out awards. He was the only competitor in his class, which guaranteed him a gold medal, “as long as I didn’t miss all three lifts and bomb out.” He didn’t.
It was Khalil’s first time competing in the 93kg ‘equipped’ category. ‘Equipped’ refers to the gear worn by the lifters, which can make a significant difference in how much a person can lift. Khalil says it’s “almost a whole new sport.”
Making all his lifts and winning a gold medal in a group of one wasn’t so hard, Khalil says, but “I did have to be strategic in my attempt selections and load up my final attempt to win the best overall pound for pound equipped lifter in Alberta this year by 0.4 bodyweight points in a field that included three competitors who’d been to world championships in the past. I ended up with 272.5kg (600lbs)squat, 170kg (375lb) bench, and a final 280kg (617lb)deadlift to secure the win with a 722.5kg total.”
Also competing was Dr. Shayne Samoil, the local chiropractor. Khalil says Dr. Shayne finished fourth in the 74kg Open weight class.
Getting back to the provincial tournament, lifters who succeed there will go on to western regionals. After that it’s nationals, in 2023. Both the regionals and nationals will be held in Alberta (Calgary and Edmonton).
“Because of this perfect travel-free Alberta friendly calendar,” Khalil says, “I anticipate the majority of lifters in the province are going to want to book their ticket to Edmonton nationals, and the road goes through Slave Lake.”