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Earlier this month, Amy Canavan cleaned up at the National Special Olympic Games held in Orlando, Florida. The 37-year old powerlifter from Kodiak brought home three silver medals and one bronze. One might think that participating in a national-level athletic competition might be stressful. You wouldn’t get that impression from talking to Amy Canavan.
“I do not get nervous at all. I like being around people. I love the audience. I love them cheering for me. And it was really, really cool,” Canavan said.
Canavan says she’s received a warm reception from Kodiak residents since returning home from the Games. She recently presented to Kodiak’s Rotary Club, and at the Kodiak Athletic Club – the gym where she trains five days a week with her coach and gym owner Lindsay Knight. She says friends and strangers alike ask to see her impressive collection of medals.
At the 2022 Special Olympics USA, she medaled in all her best lifts in the powerlifting competition, including bench press, deadlift, and squat. She won her third silver medal for combined lifts. This was her first time at the national games.
Canavan actually has competed at the international games before- she was on the floor hockey team that took gold for the United States in the 2001 Anchorage World Games.
“We beat Germany, we beat Spain, we’d beat all different countries. Oh, yeah. It was really fun. It was a blast. I’ve got to meet different people from Germany. Been friends with them,” Canavan said.
Now her sights are set on the Special Olympics Alaska Summer Games which will take place in Anchorage this upcoming weekend, where she’ll face other powerlifters from around the state. And she says she has high expectations.
“I know that I’m really hoping for gold again. So I’m hoping to get all four gold so we’ll Yeah, knock on wood- I’m trying to push myself for gold again,” Canavan said.
The next national Special Olympics games won’t be until 2024 at the earliest. Canavan is hoping to compete again if she’s able.