Alexis Ashworth, the newest member of Team Canada, will be among a group of eight females from across the country competing in weightlifting at this summer’s Commonwealth games in Birmingham, England.
“Just to represent our country on that platform, it’s a phenomenal experience,” said Ashworth.
Ashworth qualified for the event during her first-ever out-of-province meet, the 2022 Canadian Trials, held earlier this year in Toronto. She put up personal best numbers, finishing first overall in the 71 kg weight class.
Now, she’s set for her first major international event in just a couple of months.
“Competing with some of the best athletes in the world… and amongst some other weightlifters in Canada on my team, it’s a dream come true,” said Ashworth.
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Growing up on a farm near Oungre, Sask., Ashworth only got into weightlifting in 2020. She was a CrossFit athlete at the time, but her strength was with the barbell, so that’s where she turned her focus after some advice she received during a CrossFit competition in Saskatoon.
“One of the events was a max clean and the owner of the gym talked me into doing a weightlifting meet because I did really well in it,” said Ashworth.
And while Ashworth had goals she wanted to achieve when she first got into weightlifting, practicing her craft also acted as a stress reliever.
“It was an escape from school, from stress of life,” she said. “It’s definitely therapeutic in a way.
“Just touch the barbell and everything kind of goes away for a while.”
Then when she saw the progress she was making in the sport, she developed loftier goals. Now two-and-a-half years later, she’s ranked No. 1 in Canada.
“I’m really proud of myself for how far I’ve come,” said Ashworth. “I’ve had help in different ways from different coaches but I’ve never had an actual professional weightlifting coach.”
That was until two weeks ago, when she hired Wil Fleming, a professional coach with 1Kilo Weightlifting, based in Indiana. Now, on a regular basis Ashworth will send her coach videos to be critiqued move-by-move.
“That is going to be a pretty big game changer in me continuing to succeed in the sport,” said Ashworth.
And while she will continue to work to improve her totals for the Commonwealth Games in August, Ashworth also has her sights set on qualifying for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.
“It’s a difficult goal but I think why wouldn’t I give it my best shot if I’ve come this far in a short period of time,” said Ashworth.
“If I don’t aim for it, I’ll probably regret it.”
What she won’t regret is the time spent in the gym, travelling the world and experiencing life. Ashworth will graduate as a registered nurse this fall and will try and balance her sport and her career, for as long as she can.
“It’s going to be an incredible summer of traveling and weightlifting,” said Ashworth. “I know that weightlifting won’t be with me for the rest of my life.
“Eventually I will retire from the sport so I’m just trying to soak up these moments and I know one day I’ll reflect back and think those were probably the best years.”