Summerside's Tilman Gallant is just back from his latest trip to the world powerlifting championship with a bronze medal to add to a growing collection of awards and string of records.
"I've broken 28 national records and one Commonwealth record. And I've come second in the world and third in the world just lately, so that's a pretty good accomplishment I think," Gallant said, standing in the Summerside gym where he trains.
His latest medal came two weeks ago at the World Master's Benchpress Championship in Northumberland, England. It was the fourth time Gallant represented Canada at a world championship. His medal-winning benchpress saw him lift 160 kilograms. The records are based on the weight of the athlete and the amount of weight they lift.
"All my life I just liked lifting things, even when I was younger I liked lifting things. I figured I had better get a sport where you do that," he said.
At 66 he's been lifting for 25 years, before there were organized powerlifting competitions on P.E.I. He would go to Nova Scotia to compete, and since the sport established itself on the Island he has repeatedly set, then broken his own records in the 50- to 60-year age range, and now the 60- to 70-year-old group.
'I don't think in numbers like that, but you know it's hard to believe it is only four years away' - Tilman Gallant on turning 70
Gallant said he is no different than any other senior, only his sport is lifting heavy weights instead of playing golf or curling. Even with a wall of plaques, medals and records he is not planning on slowing down. The International Powerlifting Union has just established a new ago category for lifters over 70.
"That's actually my long-distance goal, to be benching in my seventies and to go to a worlds and actually have a world record," he said.
"I don't think in numbers like that, but you know it's hard to believe it is only four years away."