Marie-Josée Arès-Pilon Wins Bronze in Weightlifting

As the Glasgow 2014 weightlifting continued, Canada was well represented in our medal hopes by Marie-Josée Arès-Pilon from Edmonton Alberta and Kristel Ngarlem of Montreal.

Prior to the start of competition and prior to the venue filling up the seats with eager fans, Arès-Pilon walked onto the field-of-play stage and touched the bar then looked out into the audience. When asked what was running through her head and if she was superstitious she responded with a smile.

“No. Each bar is different, so it is important to get the feel for the grip, each is specific so it is for the technique,” said Arès-Pilon

Arès-Pilon competed at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi finishing just out of the medals. There is no doubt that although a very focused athlete, that fourth place was on her mind.

Canada has a proud tradition in all weightlifting, but especially in recent Commonwealth Games women’s weightlifting. Heading into the competition, 69kg records in snatch (105kg) and total weight (235kg) were established at the 2010 Commonwealth Games by Canada’s Christine Girard and a clean & jerk record has been held since Melbourne by Jean Lassen (132kg).

On her first lift within the snatch portion, Arès-Pilon lifted 95kg looking strong. Second lift she lifted 97kg. For her final lift, she thrilled the crowd with a lift of 99kg. Heading into the clean and jerk portion, Arès-Pilon sat in third. In the clean and jerk portion Arès-Pilon lifted 110kg again with confidence. Second lift, 115kg, looking right at the crowd and celebrating on the success. Her third lift was unsuccessful.

Waiting for the final lifts of the other competitors, it was very tense in the auditorium as the fourth place weightlifter was only fifteen, from England and had some of the last attempts of the competition. When Rebekah Tyler of England missed her last two attempts, Canada secured bronze.

“I was proud of my performance,” said the proud francophone prairie native. “It is an empowering sport that teaches so much about the body and gives an opportunity to go for more and really push the body.”

Kristel Ngarlem lifted 85kg in her first snatch attempt. After some strategy by players moving the weight up, Ngarlem missed her second lift at 90kg and then again for her third attempt. In the clean and jerk, Ngarlem lifted 108kg on her first attempt and then 113kg. On her third she lifted 116kg and threw her hands in the air to celebrate an obvious personal satisfaction.

“It was a personal best for me, which is huge at a competition of this calibre. I am very proud of myself,” said Ngarlem.

Ngarlem finished the competition in fifth place putting two Canadians in the top-five.

Weightlifting continues in Glasgow until the 31st of July.