PORT HAWKESBURY: One of the area’s strongest guys proved to be one of the nation’s strongest guys early last month when attending the Canadian Powerlifting Union’s national championships.
“It was my coach more than anything,” said Conor Demone, who brought home a bronze for his performance in the 74 kgs (163 lbs) class. He was one of 25 lifters in that division.
“I lifted the weights, but he did all the thinking and decision making at the competition.”
Demone did have a leg up when it comes to coaching, as legendary powerlifter Jeff Bunt was in the leadership role.
Butt is a Team Canada powerlifting coach, and the president of Newfoundland Powerlifting. He is also the co-owner of 709 Powerlifting with John Smart, who also helped coach Demone.
“I went about my business very humbly,” Demone said. “I didn’t look ahead. I focused on myself, and did what I was told. I controlled the controllables and executed.”
Weighing in at 160.7 lbs, Demone moved a massive amount of weight on the big day – which, to be specific, was April 3 in Ottawa. There are three movements upon which powerlifters are judged, and Demone was a beast three times over.
He squatted 523.6 lbs, benched 336.2 lbs, and managed a deadlift of 534.6 lbs. All told, his total for the day was 1394.4 lbs.
“They weren’t my best lifts, but it’s not about setting personal bests,” he explained. “It’s about competing against a competitor rather than trying to break a personal record.
“It’s extremely humbling to achieve that result, and I’d attribute 75 per cent of it to my support group on the day of the meet. And my girlfriend was a big help in terms of keeping me on track with my diet going into the meet.
“Keeping me honest to a sleep schedule and doing the boring things everyday that’s not fun but that will lead to success everyday in competition.”
Demone is dating Louise Larade, a Cheticamp native currently enrolled at Dalhousie in a pharmacy program. Larade knows her way around the barbells as well, as she holds a Nova Scotia record for the deadlift.
“The sport of powerlifting includes both genders and it’s very refreshing to see more women and minorities get into the sport,” Demone said. “It’s a sport of inclusion and it’s very friendly; you are almost cheering on your competitor more so than yourself.”
Demone now splits his time between his home town of Port Hawkesbury and Halifax, where he works in client relations for IceCap Asset Management. The Port Hawkesbury YMCA, Civic Centre and town in general, he said, were always great to him.
His skill as a fly fisherman is well documented in both communities.
He is now mulling over attending the Common Wealth Games in Newfoundland this September as a member of Team Canada.
“Never give up in anything you do,” he said. “It’s all about hard work.”