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The Accidental Powerlifting World-Record Holder

this is a discussion within the Everything Else Community Forum; On July 2, 2015, a video was uploaded to YouTube that began with a teen-age girl in a gym wrapping a weightlifting belt around her waist. Her hair was nested atop her head in a messy bun, and headphones covered ...

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Old 03-23-2016, 02:03 AM   #1
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The Accidental Powerlifting World-Record Holder

On July 2, 2015, a video was uploaded to YouTube that began with a teen-age girl in a gym wrapping a weightlifting belt around her waist. Her hair was nested atop her head in a messy bun, and headphones covered her ears. A straight bar with six plates on each side, totalling four hundred and twenty pounds, rested on the ground next to her. She huffed and puffed, paced from one end of the gym to the other, and clapped her hands. Small clouds of chalk wafted from her palms. Then she walked up to the bar, howled, bent down, and lifted the weight to her mid-thigh, in what is called a deadlift. She exhaled, arched her back, and dropped the bar and the plates to the floor. “Yes!” she screamed. “****ing ****! I did it!”

When Oscar Henning, the man behind the camera, posted the video, the title read, “Deadlift lee winroth 16 years old bw 67 kg 190 kg.” Winroth is his daughter. She had lifted nearly three times her weight, shattering, unofficially, the current deadlift world record for women in Winroth’s age and weight class, set last year by American powerlifter Cipriano Castellano. Not surprisingly, the video, which has now been viewed more than half a million times, was greeted with skepticism. “No way this is 190kg,” one user wrote, suggesting that viewers look up results from the world championships in powerlifting, where women, not girls, competed, and lesser lifts were good enough to medal. Another put it more bluntly: “How is that even possible?” That was probably the most sensible question to ask. The second was: who is Lee Winroth?


Winroth grew up in Gävle, Sweden, a port city two hours north of Stockholm. She became an avid soccer player at an early age, but, when she was twelve, she was diagnosed with scoliosis. “My dad said, ‘We are going to fix this,’ ” Winroth told me recently. “He thought the gym could cure my back, so we started to work out.” Her father had been a dedicated weight trainer since he was a teen-ager, and is a local fixture in Gävle’s gyms. “I thought, logically, a stronger back must be better than a weak back if it’s not straight,” Henning told me.

By the time she turned fourteen, he and Winroth both told me, Winroth was no longer experiencing any symptoms of the scoliosis. “The doctor said, ‘Oh my God, where is your scoliosis now?’ I didn’t wear a brace or anything,” Winroth said. By then, she was, like her father, a regular at their local gym. “We are like a family there. I know everyone,” she said. Henning told me, “It’s a good way for me to spend time with my daughter, too. You go together in the car, and you talk, and you spend time together. She’s the joy of my life.” Winroth has a handful of tattoos, including her father’s name on her shoulder and a skull on her forearm with weights acting as crossbones. Above the weights is the word “Obsessed.” Henning laughed when I asked about the tattoos. “She is the boss,” he said. “All I can tell her is: you got it for life.”

Over the past two years, Winroth has become both a sought-after soccer player and an impressive powerlifter. A few months before filming the YouTube video, she moved from her parents’ house to an apartment an hour and a half to the west, to play with a more prominent soccer team, Kvarnsvedens Ik. She is the team’s second-youngest player. After last season, the team moved up from Division 1 to Allsvenskan, the highest professional league in the country. Now she routinely does two-a-days both in the weight room and on the field. “She goes to the gym every day after our soccer trainings,” Denise Sunberg, the team’s captain, told me. “That’s not even near what we other players do.” “That’s just a normal day in my life,” Winroth said. “I love it.”

Soccer takes precedence over powerlifting, though; she sees the latter as a tool, albeit one that she enjoys. “I always told her, soccer is a lot of pressure,” Henning said. “So I told her that the powerlifting, we just do that for fun. Just to have fun in the gym and train—no pressure.” Both Winroth and her father say that it was never their intention for her to compete in powerlifting, and that it took them a while to understand her potential in the sport. But Henning was proud of his daughter’s accomplishments, so he started filming her when she would come home and train at their local gym. Among the infamous video’s hundreds of thousands of viewers was Robert Ericsson, the sports manager for the Swedish Powerlifting Federation. He was stunned. He wanted to get her into an upcoming competition, where she would have the opportunity to break the world record officially. He gave her a call, and Winroth was game. “I had nothing to lose,” she told me.

On February 19th, in Katrineholm, southwest of Stockholm, she and her father arrived for the Nordic Powerlifting Championships. She was far enough under the weight limit for her class that she could safely eat a big breakfast: porridge and eggs. Then they headed to the gym. “She goes into herself a bit before she lifts,” Henning said. “I don’t have to pep talk too much.”

The staff stacked four hundred and twenty pounds on the bar, and the judge called Winroth’s name. She didn’t clap or pace this time. She didn’t speak. She approached the bar, bent down, found her grip, and lifted. As she arched her back to finish the lift, the judge signalled it complete, and then she dropped the weight—a new, official world record. Henning cheered from the crowd. Winroth undid her belt, looked out to her father, and gave a modest shimmy as she walked off the mat. “It was so nice, you know?” she told me. “A lot of people thought it was fake. It was nice to prove them wrong.”

The Accidental Powerlifting World-Record Holder - The New Yorker


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You kids get off my lawn!
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:39 AM   #2
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Re: The Accidental Powerlifting World-Record Holder

Daayyuumm! She's so skinny too. Had to chuckle at the first video ... the ol' f-bomb is universal, .
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:36 AM   #3
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Re: The Accidental Powerlifting World-Record Holder

I know a lot of grown men who can't lift that.
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Old 03-23-2016, 02:11 PM   #4
 
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Re: The Accidental Powerlifting World-Record Holder

Originally Posted by SloMotion View Post
Daayyuumm! She's so skinny too. Had to chuckle at the first video ... the ol' f-bomb is universal, .
Probably a Trump voter...
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lee winroth, power lifting, soccer, stockholm, swede, swedish

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