Daniel Finan is one of three powerlifters making up the American team at the IBSA World Games in Seoul, scheduled to formally get underway in 10 days.
Finan is a B3 classified powerlifter. The junior lifter qualified for the IBSA World Games at the USAPL Arizona Fall Championship in November of last year. Competing in the men’s 181/198 weight class, his best ever squat was 375 lbs (170 kgs), best ever benchpress was 300 lbs (136 kgs) and best ever deadlift was 420 lbs (190 kgs). He goes to Korea with the goal of winning gold.
At the 2013 USPA Arizona State Powerlifting, he finished second in the 198 junior men 20-23 group with total lift weight of 903 pounds (410 kgs).
When he was 3-years-old, Finan lost his vision after head trauma resulted a detached retina in his right eye. Prior to taking up competitive powerlifting, Finan tried grappling/jiu jitsu but left the sport because he liked the strength training aspect of powerlifting more. The sport has provided Finan with a greater sense of self, and as someone other than a blind person. It has also provided him with an active and positive outlet that has helped with his confidence. He competed in his first meet in mid-2013.
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.