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RAF Lakenheath Powerlifter Takes Home Gold in Killeen

updated Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Views: 496

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England – After coming in second place in his first powerlifting competition at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Cory, a staff sergeant assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing, told himself that he never wanted to lose a competition again. A man of his word, he trained and competed in three more events at Seymour Johnson, placing first in all.

Five years later, the streak continues as Cory took home four gold medals in the 2017 USA Powerlifting Military National Championships held in Killeen, TX this past March. His performance topped his weight class competition in the bench, deadlift, push & pull (bench & deadlift combined) and full power categories.

“This past year, I made the decision to take powerlifting to the next level,” Cory said. “While I enjoy team sports, there’s also pride in competing in an individual sport where the results are completely up to you.”

That’s not to say that he hasn’t received support along the way. As a running back for the Bury Saints American football team, he enlisted the help of one of his coaches to prepare him for the USA Powerlifting Military National Championships. It was the first time that he had worked with a coach and it paid off. Cory also joined the RAFL Powerlifting Club, Strength N’ Heath, which is supported by the RAFL Fitness Center.

“The great thing about the club and the sport in general is that everyone is there for the same purpose,” he said. “I came into the sport thinking that this was going to be a very competitive atmosphere, but people really work together and support each other even though they are opponents. Of course we all want to come away with the gold medal, but for me, the comradery between the athletes has been the best part of the whole thing.”

Cory also credits his success to the support provided by his family. A surprise visit by more than 20 members of his family at the Military National Championships gave him extra motivation for the competition. His dedication and enthusiasm for athletics has trickled down to his two sons as well, with his oldest looking to play football and his youngest taking an interest in dad’s passion for lifting.

“We’ll have to wait a while before he starts lifting heavy,” Cory laughed.

In addition to two-a-day workouts each weekday, Cory visits the gym each Saturday. On the Saturday sessions, his sons join him.
“My family comes first, so I’m excited that they are so supportive of my passion.”

Through powerlifting competitions, Cory has been able to meet others across the globe that share a similar interest. At the competition in Killeen, he met a powerlifter from Kadena where he will soon be stationed. He’s already getting connected with the community over there.
“Again, it’s the comradery,” Cory smiled. “It’s a great, supportive group here and I’m discovering that there are groups all over the world like ours. I’m excited to see interest grow.”

Strength N’ Heath participates in military and civilian competitions throughout Europe and right here at RAF Lakenheath. They also have more casual events like deadlifting parties and powerlifting workshops.

“If you’re interested in the sport, the best way to learn more is to get involved,” Cory said.

Cory's next competition is the British Drug Free Powerlifting Association’s (BDFPA) Eastern Counties Open Championships in July.

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