81-year-old rookie powerlifter breaking records, inspiring community

Ron Brunner at his first powerlifting competition ever. Arsalan Saeed/Global News

Ron Brunner is proof that it’s never too late to try something new.

The 81-year-old Winnipegger started weightlifting for the first time just six months ago.

“A friend of mine introduced me to this small gym it’s called One Family Fitness Centre. There’s about 200 members and we’re very close-knit,” Brunner said.

Shortly after he was introduced to the gym he was asked if he was interested in competing in the sport.

“I sure am,” Brunner said.

It was an ambitious goal for the rookie lifter.

“When he came to us, he couldn’t even sit and get up,” his coach and owner of Winnipeg’s One Family Fitness Centre Kyla Camire said.

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Ron Brunner and his coach Kyla Camire. Arsalan Saeed/Global News

But Brunner was driven. Training consistently hard for The One Powerlifting Classic on Saturday March 16.

“I’m 81 years old and I feel like I’m 61 years old,” Brunner said.

Brunner’s first powerlifting competition is one to remember.

In front of friends from his retirement community at Riverwood Square as well as his family, Brunner competed alone in his age category securing a gold medal while adding his name to the record books.

Brunner’s group of family and friends who came to cheer him on. Arsalan Saeed/Global News

Brunner broke provincial records and had a combined lifting score of 32.5 kilograms

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“Truly inspiring to everyone. We want to encourage older people to do resistance training. Him being here is setting the bar. There is nothing to be scared of,” Camire said about Brunner’s lifting journey.

As for Brunner himself, he sees this as just the beginning.

“It’s something new to me and I’m not going to give that up,” Brunner said. “I’ll be back again next year.”

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