At the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, the Canadian Woman’s team had an abundance of success and were able to qualify 3 woman for each team. This was based on dominant team performances at the previous two World Championships that lead up to the Olympics.
Unfortunately after the London games, many of their top female athletes retired from the sport. At the 2014 World Championships, the first qualification event for the 2016 Summer Olympics, Canada only submitted a team of four woman. Needless to say, without a full team, they were at a disadvantage. In 2015 they managed to send a team of five women, however only the top 21 point scoring countries received automatic Olympic spots, and they finished in 30th.
Similar to the American men’s Olympic Team, the Canadian Woman were required to earn a spot through the continental qualification process at the Pan American Championships in Columbia this past June. One of the women who stepped up and made sure Canada would have a female Olympian in weightlifting was Amanda Braddock in the 48KG category.
One of the smallest weightlifters lifted some of the biggest weights. She set a competition PR by 10KG (22lbs) and won a bronze medal in the snatch and 4th overall. In the process, she secured 1st place team points because the three woman who placed ahead of her were from countries with secured Olympic spots. Due to the hard work of the women representing Canada Weightlifting, the country secured a spot and was represented by Marie-Eve Beauchemin-Nadeau at the 2016 Rio Olympics .
In early November, I had the chance to catch up with Braddock at the Ontario Fall Classic in Mississauga, Ontario, while she had down time from coaching many athletes on the day.
Amanda Braddock (Team Canada / Sabaria School of Weightlifting, 48KG)
Hometown: Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Education: BS in Biology from the University of Toronto at Mississauga (UTM); Post Graduate Certification in Human Resources (HR) from Sheridan College
- 2016 Bronze Medalist, Pan American Championships (48KG)
- 2014 & 2015 Canadian Senior National Championship
- 2015 Pan American Games (9th Place)
- 2015 Canadian Senior World Championships Team
How long have you been lifting? How did you get started?
“I have been lifting for 5 years, I started when I was in college at UTM. There is a weightlifting club there and I wanted to get into better shape. My coach is Steve Sandor, he is the dad and the coach of 2004 Canadian Olympian Akos Sandor. I have also practiced CrossFit, but I really enjoy weightlifting and have concentrated on the lifts.”
What are your hobbies and favorite activities outside of weightlifting?
“I consider myself artistic – I like to make crafts and give them out to people. I studied entomology in school; which is the branch of zoology that focuses on studying bugs and insects. When I am finished with my weightlifting career, I would like to have a career that focuses more in that area. Right now I am a full time coach at Sabaria, which allows my schedule to be flexible and helps with my training.”
Goals for 2017 and beyond?
“In 2017 I want to earn a spot on the Pan Am championships team and World Team for Canada. I want to go to the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2019 Pan American Games also.”
Author’s Note: When I spoke with Braddock she was anticipating participating at the FISU World University Weightlifting Championships in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico which were held in November. She unfortunately had to withdraw due to health issues. Her best competition total of 167KG (367lb) is 16KG over the winner’s total, and if healthy I have no doubts that Amanda would have medaled for Team Canada if not won the competition.
Who is your biggest competition?
“Myself – the mind is a powerful thing. Anyone can be a threat, but I don’t think about one person compared to just trying to improve myself.
Clean & Jerk: *secret
Jerk: 96KG (211lb)
Back Squat: 120KG (254lb) X 3
Front Squat: 105KG (231lb) X 2
Number of training sessions per week (how often do you go heavy (90% +)?
“4-5 sessions per week, once a week I work on the snatch and another workout is the clean & jerk. I squat 2-3 times per week, front and back squat.”
What does your diet consist of? (Special foods, nutritional plans, etc.)
“I eat primarily vegetables and egg whites when I am making weight. It is not tough to make weight for 48KG, however I try to make sure it never exceeds 50KG. I definitely watch what I eat and try to eat clean.”
How has the culture of weightlifting changed in Canada over the last several years?
“I’ve only been in the sport for 5 years, however there are a lot more women entering the sport and excelling. In Ontario the number of athletes are growing a lot, and there is a larger percentage of athletes from Ontario who are qualifying for National teams. There is a larger interest in weightlifting based on social media also.
Featured image: @lifeinkg on Instagram/ND8 Photography