Olympic lifter reaches new heights

Shirlee Petrat wins gold at Ogopogo Lifting Competition, qualifies for World Master Games

PENTICTON'S SHIRLEE PETRAT has qualified for the World Masters Games in New Zealand in 2017 after lifting a combined 83 kilos in snatch and clean and jerk in her 48 kilo weight class.

PENTICTON'S SHIRLEE PETRAT has qualified for the World Masters Games in New Zealand in 2017 after lifting a combined 83 kilos in snatch and clean and jerk in her 48 kilo weight class.

Shirlee Petrat does Olympic lifting because it challenges her and she loves how it makes her feel.

She gets a powerful feeling when she walks away from doing a 110-pound clean and jerk, especially when she weighs 105 pounds. She has always been fit as enjoys weight lifting, pilates, yoga and sprinting.

“The better in shape you are for Olympic lifting, the better lifter you are going to be,” she said.

Petrat remembers feeling nervous the first time she competed in the Ogopogo Lifting Competition last year. It was because she didn’t know what to expect. This time around on Aug.13, it wasn’t the same feeling.

“The second time you know you have a total you are trying to beat,” said Petrat, who competes in the 48 kilo weight group.  “There is more pressure on a second and third. You hope to at least meet or beat your old total. It’s a little more pressure.”

After lifting a combined 81 kilos (in snatch and clean and jerk) last year, Petrat topped that by two kilos, which she said was great. She lifted 36 kilos in the snatch and 47 in the clean and jerk.

“I felt really strong. I’m still feeling I’m lifting under my potential,” said Petrat, who won gold and has qualified to compete in the World Masters Games in New Zealand in 2017, the B.C. Masters and Canadian championships after being in the sport just two years.

Her coach, former Olympian Guy Greavette (South Korea Games in 1988) who she met in a weight lifting course in 2013, told Petrat she can lift much more. She said he doesn’t understand why she holds back, but Petrat said it’s because she is still new in the sport. Petrat got into Olympic lifting through cross fit, but was always interested in it.

“I don’t know why but I always watched it. I was always intrigued by it,” said Petrat, who watched it when she was 11 or 12. “When I did my first lift two years ago, I knew immediately that the speed was for me.”

Her friends don’t understand what it’s about she said.

“They think it’s a fitness program,” said she with a laugh. “Oh, you’re going to go work out? I think because they use some of the lifts in crossfit people then think that lifting is a fitness program.”

When it comes to the World Master Games, she has that same feeling when she first entered the Ogopogo Lifting Competition.

“I’m nervous already. I don’t know,” said Petrat, saying that the travel is part of it. “I don’t know what to expect.”