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Interview with Charles King, the oldest visual impaired powerlifter in US at 2015 IBSA World Games

American powerlifter Charles King, competing in deadlift. Image credit: EJ Monica Kim.

Today, the oldest American visual impaired powerlifter, Charles King has competed at the 2015 IBSA World Games in Seoul, Korea.

American powerlifter Charles King attempting in the bench press. Image credit: EJ Monica Kim.

American powerlifter Charles King attempting in the bench press. Image credit: EJ Monica Kim.

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King had a good start with a lift of 110kg in the first squat attempt. He also lifted 112.5kg successfully in second attempt. Although he attempted his third squat with a lift of 125kg, he failed to lift it.

American powerlifter Charles King attempting in the squat. Image credit: EJ Monica Kim.

American powerlifter Charles King attempting in the squat. Image credit: EJ Monica Kim.

In the bench press, he lifted 110kg and 117.5kg in first and second attempt, respectively, but he could not lift 122.5kg in his last attempt.

The-65-year-old dropped his third attempt in the deadlift, after succeeding a lift of 165kg.

He finished fourth out of five competitors in the men’s 100kg. Ukrainian powerlifter Serii Skorik won a gold medal, and Russia’s Aleksei Larin and Venezuela’s Luis Enrique Guevara Romero took home silver and bronze, respectively

ParaSport News had an opportunity to interview Charles King, after finishing the competition.

ParaSport News: Firstly, why did you drop the third attempt in deadlift, today?

Charles KingI have been sustaining genetic disease in my back, so it hurts my back. I began suffering in the third squat attempt, and the pain continued in the bench press, too. That’s why my coach said to me [to drop the third attempt in the deadlift].   

ParaSport News: How do you feel to compete at the 2015 IBSA World Games in Seoul, Korea?

King: To me, it’s a miracle that I’ve been able to do this at my age. I had prostate cancer, so I weighed 260 pounds when I just began the powerlifting. But I worked hard, and downed to 212 pounds now.

And it is my first time to be here in Korea. It is such a beautiful country. This is the biggest thing ever happened to me in my life.

ParaSport News: What challenges did you face while preparing for this event?

King: I had a lot of challenges, but biggest one was that I needed to raise money to come here, because the United States doesn’t sponsor para-athletes. We have to ask public or companies to raise money. And I had to bring my coach with me this time, so that was the biggest obstacle. But we did fundraising activities through Facebook, the website called GoFundMe and newspapers’ articles, written by the journalists who tried to help me.

ParaSport News: Who are the most influential people in your sporting career?

King: My wife and coach. Particularly, my coach Joseph Braca has been training with me since 2009. He taught me how to squat. I couldn’t balance myself at first, because of my blindness, so I was afraid a lot. But I could reach this level, thanks to him.

ParaSport News: What does it mean to you to represent your country?

King: It’s honor, and it’s bless of God. I used to be in the US army, so it’s very special for me to represent my country. I also want to mention my coach, as he helped me tremendously.

ParaSport News: What is your next goal, after the 2015 IBSA World Games?

King: There is IBSA World Powerlifting Championships, next year. I’ll compete in M3b category (age 65 to 69). I’m probably the only 65-year-old powerlifter, so I’ll be able toset the new record for my age category in the men’s 100kg.

About EJ Monica Kim (41 Articles)
EJ Monica Kim completed B.A (Media and Communications) at The University of Sydney. She is a freelance journalist and writer at the International Paralympic Committee [IPC], based in Seoul, Korea.

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