It's time to start blogging and getting everyone as excited as I am about kettlebell sport in Canada as we all prepare for the NKSO 2015!!! I will make an attempt to post here about any information that you may need, lifting from athletes that will be attending and advice from Canadian and North American coaches about how to best prepare. I thought the perfect way to start this blog was to highlight the OKCI Vancouver Kettlebell Sport Open that was held this past Saturday, April 18th. Many really great things are happening for kettlebell sport in Canada!!
Photo Credit for this blog entry belongs to Rix Pix. Thank you for capturing so many wonderful moments for all of us!!
Where to begin. This past weekend I had the pleasure of participating in the OKCI Vancouver Open, hosted by Code 5 Owner and Coach Tricia Dong, held at the Olympic Oval in Richmond, BC. Even though this would be considered a 'smaller' OKC event, I could not help but notice just how many BIG things happened over the course of the day.
Being a Canadian event, it is extra exciting to announce FOUR CANADIAN NATIONAL RECORDS were set on Saturday!!!
You can view Kathryn's 24kg Jerk set and Canadian National Record here:
You can view Kathryn's 24kg Snatch set and Canadian National Record here:
It always feels awkward writing about myself but I was fortunate to set two National Records this weekend. I completed 242 snatches in the 16kg Snatch, followed by 88 reps in double bell 16kg long cycle. I am very happy with these results. The energy of the competition contributed greatly to both of my lifts. Thank you everyone for your encouragement and support!
You can view my 16kg snatch set and Canadian National Record here:
The above video was created by Mikhail Marshak. Thank you Misha!!
And my 16kg TALC set and Canadian National Record here:
Many women used this event as a chance to lift in two arm long cycle or two arm jerks. Double bell lifting is newer for women and I strongly believe 100-120 reps is very possible with 16kgs, I am confident we can lift 2X20kgs for 10 minutes quite well (Katarina Helcmanovska has already proven this in competition at the NKSO 2014) and it's only a matter of time, and women choosing to try doubles, before we find out how women will be able to do with 2X24kg. Organizations like the OKC are giving us the opportunity to participate in this sport as it was originally meant to be performed. There are REALLY big opportunities and progressions being made for women in GS right now in North America. This is thanks to the men and women who are the driving force of organizations like the OKC and IKFF who are willing and even excited to give women the chance to compete in the same lifts as men. I was even fortunate enough to lift right next to multiple World Champion and World Record Holder Denis Vasilev and Canada's multiple National Record holder Charlie Fornelli! There is only ONE real way to find out if women can do double bell lifting and that is, simply, to DO IT! Respect to all women who stepped up to try out some double bell lifting!
Canada also welcomes another Master of Sport in the 20kg Long Cycle!! Jenny Chan competed in the 20kg OALC and completed 98 reps to achieve her MS rank with the OKC. Not only is this impressive on it's own but it's even more exceptional because of the fact that Jenny only weighs 46.9kg!! I'm already looking forward to watching Jenny continue to progress and achieve more great success in GS. Congratulations on such an extraordinary accomplishment Jenny! Keep it going!!
Also in attendance at the OCKI Vancouver Open was Canada's most accomplished male lifter, Charlie Fornelli, who took it upon himself to compete in ALL three 32kg lifts this past weekend achieving two more Master of Sport ranks, one in each event - biathlon and long cycle!! Charlie completed 85 jerks and 131 snatches for a total point score of 150.5. He also completed 54 reps in the 32kg Long Cycle. Charlie is another exceptional athlete and person who leads by example. He is hard working, generous with his knowledge and experience, friendly and very skilled with his technique in all three lifts. It was a privilege to watch him lift on Saturday and spend time with him over the weekend. Amazing work Charlie!!
In addition to our Canadian lifters, there were many phenomenal performances by our USA friends and from multiple World Champion, MSIC and World Record Holder, Denis Vasilev, who flew in from Russia to participate. Denis only received his Visa to Canada the morning before the competition and was not sure that he could even attend until that day! He made the flight and arrived at the Vancouver airport at 1:00am the morning of competition. Denis was planning to lift for 5 minutes. This made the most sense in his preparations for the Championship of Russia happening over the next few days. During his set Denis decided to continue and completed 101 repetitions, setting a new record and beating his previous best of 93 reps!! His performance, spirit, strength, focus and drive are untouchable but his kindness, friendliness and genuine care for his friends, other lifters and taking the growth of GS in a professional and positive direction make him even more of an asset to have him lifting and coaching in North America. It is a privilege to know Denis and an honor to have lifted next to him. Congratulations Denis and good luck this upcoming weekend!! You can watch Denis set this new record by following this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5n8i3wgbwY&feature=youtu.be. You can see another video of this set, very professionally put together by Mikhail Marshak, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NH5c92Lm-lg&feature=youtu.be
Oh, yes! MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT!!! Denis will be attending the NKSO 2015 here in St.Catharines on June 27th. He will be teaching a kettlebell sport seminar/workshop on Sunday June 28th. Details will be up on this page by next week.
DON'T MISS THIS HUGE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN FROM THE BEST!
In addition to watching experienced lifters progress in this sport and to the excitement of watching brand new and beginner lifters take the platform, it is always impressive to see how lifters of all ages can compete in GS.
The youngest lifter at the OKCI Vancouver Open was Kendra Falkenberg. Kendra is only 13 years old and has never been over thrilled about sports yet she took the platform and crushed a 12kg snatch set completing 201 snatches AND a 12kg long cycle set competing 119 repetitions!!! Her technique looked quite good for a beginner and it is obvious that she will be a force in this sport as she chooses to continue to stay committed to training in the way that she has been leading up to this event. Congratulations Kendra and looking forward to seeing you progress!
The most veteran lifter at this weekend's event was Lewis Cottell (61 years), a member of Code 5 fitness and a student of Tricia Dong. Lewis competed in the 16kg snatch completing 129 repetitions! Lewis also did the 5 minute double bell jerk event completing 50 reps! He has been an inspiration for other lifters on Team Code 5 including his wife Victoria Cottell who found self-confidence from participating in training with Lewis and, as a result, decided to compete in the 5 minute 8kg snatch completing 48 repetitions!! Very inspiring Lewis and Victoria!!
This is a long recap but there were so many great things happening this past weekend that I know I won't even fit half of them into this post. The next person that we cannot forget is one of the leaders of the OKC himself, John Wild Buckley. This weekend John completed personal records in BOTH his 24kg snatch and jerk sets. John did 101 jerks and 201 snatches giving him 201.5 total points!! Not only did he achieve great numbers but he also made them look graceful and, quite frankly, easy! Congratulations John!! Running competitions and being the head of an organization is an immense challenge but to ALSO train, compete and continue to progress as an athlete in our sport shows how fully dedicated John is to EVERY aspect of this sport. He is a true leader and ambassador for GS in North America. Good luck competing in the White Nights tournament in Russia these next two weeks John. We are all cheering you on from here with the same tenacity and genuine hope for success that you give to all of us!!
John and the rest of the OKC trio, Jason Dolby and Nazo, constantly continue to generate positive momentum for improving and growing GS in North America. They have done more than most are even aware of and continue to put their heads down and drive forward through any challenges because they are led by something deeper than personal satisfaction. They are lead by their hearts, spirit and their mutual respect for each other and the lifters in this sport. John, Jason and Nazo are also impressive because they take action by constantly reassessing their work and looking to improve in every area with every opportunity that they have. The fact that they are also lifters helps them resonate with what the athletes are experiencing in both competitions and training, therefore, they have an even better idea of how much these competitions mean to all of us and they work hard to make their events as professional, organized and positive as possible. Jason and John flew in from California to personally help Tricia run the event and Nazo was helping the entire time from her computer at home. You are all such an amazing team and family who have remind me, and I am sure many others, of why I love GS and why I want to be both a better athlete and coach. Keep spreading that love, energy and passion - it's contagious coming from you three!!
Last, but certainly not least, a big thank you to Tricia Dong for all of her hard work leading up to, during and after this event. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to spend some time with Tricia on Wednesday and Thursday before the competition and I saw the effort, coupled with frustration, that she was putting into preparing this event for all of us. I also chatted with her often on very late nights for weeks leading up to this competition as she lost sleep trying to get all of the details taken care of. Tricia really cares about doing things right and she put a ton of work into this event to make it the success that it was. In addition to organizing this event, Tricia also competed in the 5 minute double bell long cycle completing 42 reps!! Stellar job on the platform and in running this event Tricia. Congratulations and thank you!! You should be very proud!
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL LIFTERS WHO ALSO ACHIEVED RANK AT THE OKC VANCOUVER OPEN
To see the full list of results from the OKCI Vancouver Kettlebell Sport Open 2015, please follow this link: