Olympic lifter sets sights on setting records

Shirlee Petrat of Penticton heads into the Ogopogo Open with big goals in mind

SHIRLEE PETRAT will compete in her second Ogopogo open Olympic lifting competition. She has her sights on competing in the World Masters Games.

SHIRLEE PETRAT will compete in her second Ogopogo open Olympic lifting competition. She has her sights on competing in the World Masters Games.

Shirlee Petrat loves Olympic-style lifting.

That word might not be the right one to describe her feeling for the sport, however.

“It’s very addicting,” said Petrat, who started lifting two years ago at age 52. “For me I do my homework every night. I do all my notes. I do my studying of my lifts. I watch all my videos up to 25 times. It’s fun. It’s challenging. Lifting is one of the sports that makes you face your failures everyday.”

Petrat, 54, a certified personal trainer in pilates and weight training, got into Olympic lifting through cross fit. She works out five days a week under the experienced guidance of former Olympian Guy Greavette (South Korea Games in 1988), whose most recent accomplishment is winning gold in the World Masters Games and setting a record in the snatch of 116 kilograms at 85 kg in 2005.

“He has a really good eye,” said Petrat, who when not training out of Greavette’s Viking Weightlifting Club in Winfield, trains at a private facility in Penticton. “If I’m struggling with something, he will know how to deload my weights the next day, rather than loading me heavier. He’s such a professional. He’s very good at what he does.”

Currently she is training at a 50 kilo weight, two over her competition weight. It allows her to eat more and have more energy. Greavette sends Petrat a program that changes daily based on previous days performance.

Last year Petrat competed in her first event, the Ogopogo Lifting Competition, an open with no age categories. She was placed in the 53 kilo weight class since she narrowly missed the 48 kilo class by one kilo. The five-foot-one lifter ended up doing an 82 kg lift and was up against eight lifters in their mid 20s. Those results earned her qualifications to the Pan Am Masters and World Masters, which she did not attend.

“Overall, I did good. It was really odd to be lifting against kids who were stronger than me,” she laughed.

Petrat is in the rare position of not having competition because of her age and weight. She said it is unique to have an older master trainer starting at her age.

“You need mobility, you need speed, and you have to be in shape,” said Petrat, who got her DNA tested to learn what type of fast twitch muscle fibre she possessed.

Petrat she has always been drawn to quick actions.

Being in her position opens up doors into the record books. In the 55-59 age group for 48 kilo women, there is no B.C. record. The Canadian combined snatch (28 kilos) and clean and jerk (38 kilos) record is 65 kilos. The Pan Am record is 79 and the world record is 87. The World Master Games record is 62. Petrat is a member of the B.C. Weightlifting Association, which is a member of the Canadian Weightlifting Federation. That federation is also a member of the International Weightlifting Federation. She is also a member of the Canadian Masters.

Her second event is the Ogopogo again, on Aug.13 in Lake Country and she will be better prepared because of the coaching change.

“I lift better now than I did last year,” she said. “My technique has changed with my new coach. I can literally lift about 25 per cent heavier now. Just with pure technique.”

As long as she totals in her lifts, she will qualify for the World Masters Games in New Zealand next year. All she needs to do is make one snatch and clean and jerk.

She feels scared about the chance to compete in the World Masters Games.

“I’m by myself which takes some of the stress off,” she said. “At the same time, it’s very stressful because I’m just there. There is no competition.

“I don’t know what my progression should be because there is nothing to compare it to,” she continued. “I don’t know if I’m slow in learning the snatch at my age or am I quick at learning it. I’m the only one learning it.”

Petrat said it takes a good year to prepare for a competition. Next year she has plans to compete three times — the Canadians, the B.C. Masters and the World Master Games. She’s excited about the prospect of winning gold and setting a record.












Just Posted

Jann Arden will embark on Canada-wide tour Spring 2022 with a stop in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre on June 13. (Contributed)
Jann Arden coming to Penticton in 2022

The Jann Arden Live! tour has been rescheduled for 2022

A storm watch has been issued for the Okanagan, Kootenays and Columbia regions of B.C. (Calvin Dickson photo)
Another severe thunderstorm watch issued for the Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for thunderstorms that may produce strong wind gusts, hail and heavy rain

The South Okanagan Tim Hortons raised over $4,000 through the three day orange doughnut promotion with 100 per cent of proceeds going to to the Residential School Survivors Society. The owner of these locations matched the amount. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
South Okanagan Tim Hortons raises over $8K for residential school survivors

More than $4,000 worth of doughnuts were purchased over three days

Justin Fotherby,17, and Ashley McMillan, 17 have been chosen for an invitation only competition that sees 20 of Canada’s top swimmers per event vying for a spot at the upcoming 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. (Submitted)
Penticton swimmers off to Olympic trials

The pair are eyeing a spot on the Canadian team heading to the Tokyo Olympics

Bentley resting on a bench at Kal Park in Vernon not knowing there is a baby rattlesnake curled up below. Bentley jumped down and was bit by the snake. (Facebook)
Dog bit by baby rattler at popular Vernon park

The rattlesnake was hidden underneath a park bench when it struck out

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

The Journey, an art exhibit by Pauline Hurley, was on display at the Summerland Ats Centre earlier this spring. Beginning June 15, the Summerland Community Arts Council will present Spark, a 10-week community arts challenge. (Summerland Review file photo)
Challenge to spark creativity among Summerland artists

Spark challenge will begin June 15 and will run 10 weeks

A fire deliberately set in a washroom facility in Vernon’s transit terminal could cost the city around $25,000 to repair. (City of Vernon)
Burned-out bathroom could cost Vernon $25K

Despite changes made by city, vandalism on the rise at transit loop loos

Cody Bandsma practises kiting with his new paraglider wing at Blackburn Park in Salmon Arm on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
VIDEO: Cody Bandsma reaching new heights over the Shuswap

Former 100 Mile resident discovers Salmon Arm by air with powered paraglider

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

A young child has been taken to hospital after being struck by a vehicle on 30th Avenue in Vernon Friday, June 11, 2021. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Investigation ongoing after child struck by vehicle downtown Vernon

A young child was taken to hospital Friday with undetermined injuries

David Larsen, left, and co-host Tony Peyton. (K96.3/Twitter)
Popular Kelowna radio host dies after battle with cancer

David Larsen was half of the longtime Kelowna morning-show duo David and Tony

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Most Read