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American powerlifter Nick Gasaway ready for IBSA World Games

Powerlifting pictogram. Powerlifting pictogram. Image credit: Parutakupiu . License: Public domain.

Nick Gasaway is one of three powerlifters making up the American team at the IBSA World Games in Seoul, scheduled to formally get underway in 18 days.

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Vacaville, California local Gasaway is going to Seoul without a coach, preferring to train on his own. The trip to Seoul will be his first one outside of North America. Vacaville Rotary Club is sponsoring $1,000 (€931) of the $3,300 (€2,790) he needed to be able to compete in South Korea. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Wrentham Drive in Vacaville also assisted him in raising funds to help him compete.

 

Before doing his lifts, Gasaway always needs to touch things to make sure everything is just right. Despite little competition experience, he has been able to do deadlifts of 445 lbs (201 kilos).

 
Prior to taking up powerlifting, Gasway played goalball for sixteen years. He left the sport on the competitive level in 2012 because of the cost involved in traveling to competitions around North America. Through goalball, Gasaway met his wife when both were actively competing in Florida, and the couple now have three young children.    Through the United States Association of Blind Athletes, he has also participated in wrestling, and the athletics’s discipline of shotput and discus.

 

 

Originally from Michigan, Gasaway works as a switchboard operator at the Travis Air Force Base Recreation Center. He started working there in September 2010. He started gradually losing his sight as a child as a result of optic nerve atrophy. Now, Gasaway is almost completely blind.

 

Vacaville, California local Gasaway is going to Seoul without a coach, preferring to train on his own. Before doing his lifts, he always needs to touch things to make sure everything is just right.

 

Gasaway works as a switchboard operator at the Travis Air Force Base Recreation Center, and has a wife and three children. He lost his vision 12 years ago as a result of optic nerve atrophy.

 

Visually impaired powerlifting differs from weightlifting in that it has three lifts instead of two: the Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift.

 

The powerlifting competition gets formally underway at the IBSA World Games on May 11 and runs until May 13 at the Woori Art Hall in Seoul’s Olympic Park. Athletes are scheduled to be able to start training at the facility as of May 8, two days before the start of the opening ceremony.

 

Around 6,000 athletes from 80 different countries are expected to participate in the 2015 World Gams.  They will be participating in nine different sports including athletics, chess, 5-a-side football, goalball, judo, powerlifting, showdown, swimming and ten-pin bowling. The competition is part of the 2016 Summer Paralympic qualifying program for athletics, swimming and judo where competitors can get qualifying points or meet Minimum Qualifying Standards.  For goalball, there are qualification spots available for Rio.  The United States is not sending teams as the men’s and women’s teams already qualified at last year’s IBSA Goalball World Championships.

Laura Hale
About Laura Hale (2533 Articles)
Laura Hale is a sport journalist, specializing in Paralympic and disability sport news. Prior to helping found ParaSport-News, she spent two and a half years working as a journalist on Wikinews, a citizen journalism site. As a journalist, she has covered the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in La Molina, the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, and a number of other sporting events. She has additional experience with Paralympic sport having worked as a Wikipedian in Residence for the Australian and Spanish Paralympic Committees.

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