On Aug. 8, 2021, Edith Murway-Traina turned 100 years old. Although reaching triple digits is a rare and commendable achievement, it is not Murway-Traina’s claim to fame. She was recently entered into the 2022 Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest competitive female powerlifter ever.
Murway-Traina began her powerlifting journey at the age of 91. She was invited to her local recreation center in Tampa, Florida, by her friend, Carmen Gutworth, and saw other people in the gym lifting weights. With her propensity for wanting to participate and try new things out herself, Murway-Traina lifted a few barbells and got hooked. Check out Guinness Book of World Records’ interview with her below, courtesy of their YouTube channel:
The joy that lifting brought Murway-Traina kept her coming back to the gym consistently. She utilized that time to get “a little bit better and a little bit better” over time.
Before long, I was part of the team.
Gutworth touted how Murway-Traina has had a knack for taking on challenges since they first became friends. When something comes easy to Murway-Traina, she would get bored and move on, but powerlifting presented a constant challenge.
By her own admission, Murway-Traina did not think she would take powerlifting to the competitive level. That changed when she made her sanctioned powerlifting debut at the 2013 Raw United Powerlifting Federation (RAWU) Raw Record Breakers Meet. According to Open Powerlifting, she won gold in the 75-kilogram class at the event with the following stats:
- Bench Press — 20.4 kilograms (45 pounds)
- Deadlift — 49.9 kilograms (110 pounds)
- Total — 70.3 kilograms (155 pounds)
Since that win, Murway Traina has competed in 14 sanctioned competitions across two weight classes — 67.5-kilograms being the other class. Of those 14 events, she won nine, scored silver twice, and only missed the podium a single time when she successfully totaled. Murway-Traina scored DQs at the 2015 RAWU Senior Powerlifting Championships and the 2015 RAWU Teenage & Masters Championships where she did not perform the squat — which is not uncommon among many Masters Powerlifters age 80 and over.
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Murway-Traina is a former dancer who has long loved the acknowledgment of applause. When she competes, a successful attempt is met with spectators’ applause, which helps keep her motivated.
…in my 90s, I became more aware of the need…to be recognized for who they are. I think I survive on that.
To date, Murway-Traina’s best competition lifts are a 30.3-kilogram (66.8-pound) bench press and a 68-kilogram (149.9-pound) deadlift.
Featured image: @taz_mal on Instagram