COLDBROOK - Bigger. Better. Stronger.
Cassidy Klein set some ambitious goals for 2018, but the 19-year-old weightlifter is off to a strong start.
Klein walked away from the Canadian Junior Weightlifting Championships hosted at the new Halifax Convention Centre the weekend of Jan. 20 with a bronze medal. The Coldbrook resident admits the third-place finish in the 75 kg category came as a pleasant surprise.
“I was absolutely shocked to have medaled at an event as large as the Canadian Junior Weightlifting Championships,” said Klein.
“I was shaking as I was approaching the bar and as soon as I got down and got my hands on the barbell the stress went away because I was able to get myself into my zone.”
Klein lifted a combined total of 142 kg in two events to secure her place on the podium, much to the delight of her coach, Augie Westhaver.
“I was absolutely thrilled when they were presenting the medal,” said Westhaver, a coach sanctioned with the Nova Scotia Weightlifting Association.
“I was tearing up. It was really remarkable.”
Westhaver has been working with Klein for about two years, and describes her as an “ideal athlete.”
“She wanted to learn. She was immediately very committed and receptive and excited,” he said.
She trains four to five days per week to build confidence and strength while working on the technical aspects of the sport.
“She’s a dream, really. She’s really responsive. She asks lots of questions and she, most importantly, works really hard. I ask her to do some really tough stuff and she just powers through it,” said Westhaver.
Westhaver is proud to see Klein making a name for herself in a sport that was historically considered to be dominated by male athletes. He firmly believes Klein’s work ethic will continue to lead to pleasing results as her weightlifting career progresses.
“I am quite confident that Cassidy will find herself at senior nationals within a year.”
Klein, a second-year kinesiology student at Acadia, first tried weightlifting after committing to the Wolfville-based university’s performance training program.
“I liked that weightlifting is a very individual sport. It’s not with a team; it’s all about myself and becoming a better athlete as an individual,” said Klein, who played multiple sports while attending Central Kings Rural High School.
Klein finds inspiration and motivation in the success stories of fellow weightlifters, and constantly strives to meet personal benchmarks.
“Competing changed my entire view on weightlifting and I fell in love with the sport even more,” she said.
“It’s a big mental game.”
Klein won a silver medal at provincials in November 2017. She highly recommends the sport to anyone looking to try something new.
“I would suggest that girls give themselves the opportunity to try new things that they might feel are out of their comfort zone.”