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Grand Rapids woman wins gold in international powerlifting championship

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — When we last talked with Maddy Haberling, she was preparing for a major powerlifting competition in Australia.

MEET MADDY: Grand Rapids powerlifter represents Team USA in World Championships

She arrived on October 28th, exploring all that the country had to offer before the big day.

Then came November 4th, the day all her hard work would pay off— competition day! Maddy was judged on how much she could squat, deadlift, and bench press compared to other contestants who came from all around the world to compete in the International Powerlifting League World Championship.

“I was super happy with my squat, my squat was 402.3 pounds, or 182 and a half kilos,” said Haberling. “My bench I hit 198.4 pounds or 90 kilos, my deadlift was 457 and a half pounds, and that was 207.5 kilos.”

In total, she lifted 1,058.1 pounds — hitting new personal records in each set and beating her record at nationals back in May. Her squat also tied with the world record, but her wins didn’t stop there.

“I had my eyes set on winning the gold for my weight and age class, and that’s exactly what I did,” said Haberling.

While she said she’s excited about earning a gold medal of her own, she’s also proud that she could compete alongside six other women on Team USA- which also brought home the gold.

“Honestly, I’m still just soaking it all in but I am so honored and proud to represent Team USA, yet alone bring home the gold for them,” she said.

One of the best parts of the experience was learning different techniques and meeting other athletes from around the world who share the shame passion.

“Worlds was an amazing experience, it was like no other,” said Haberling.

She adds, one of the best parts of the experience was meeting others from around the world who share her same passion, and seeing different techniques. And of course, representing her country in the process.

I loved wearing the American flag on my back when I had the gold medal, like just representing and having that American flag, that was a really powerful moment for me,” said Haberling.

So what’s next for this gold winning powerlifter?

She now has the opportunity to defend her title at Nationals and Worlds, or she can go to a professional meet and potentially get sponsored. She says no matter which route she chooses, any one would be a great next step.

Haberling plans to take lifting to the highest level that she possibly can, saying that it’s more than a hobby for her.

“I’m willing to put in the effort and the time and everything to do that, that’s what I really have my eye set on,” said Haberling.

This was her first international competition and she obviously did very well.

If you’d like to keep up with Maddy and her powerlifting journey, you can follow her on Tiktok or Instagram.

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