This week, four USABA athletes will travel to Seoul, Korea to represent Team USA in powerlifting and track & field events at the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) World Games. Approximately 6,000 athletes from 80 different countries are expected to participate in the Games in Seoul.
United States Army Veteran, Charles King, will compete in the M3a age group where he won gold and set a deadlift record at the 2012 IBSA World Games. “I want to be a role model for other older adults who face both mental and physical challenges, especially blindness.” King’s coach, Joe Braca, will travel with him to Seoul. King trains with Braca in Flourtown, Penn.
Though Dan Finan is the only junior lifter in his weight class, he has high aspirations. “I’m here to try and break the IBSA bench press world record,” says Finan. “Powerlifting has changed me in so many ways. It is a sport about testing what your body is truly capable of doing.” Since qualifying for the World Games in 2014, Finan has been pushing the limits in his training to prepare.
New to the sport of powerlifting, Nick Gasaway is looking forward to the opportunity to beat his personal best of 415.5 kg and learn how he stacks up against his competitors. Gasaway played goalball for 16 years before testing his athletic ability in powerlifting. Gasaway’s trip to Seoul will be his first outside North America.
Powerlifting competitions will run from May 11 to May 13 at the Woori Art Hall in Seoul’s Olympic Park.
In track & field events, Kevin Brousard will compete in discus and shot put in Seoul. He began training in April of last year but an injury prevented him from throwing and lifting for several months. Upon his return, he threw a lifetime best of 43.65 meters in discus at the Pomona Pitzer All-Comers Meet in February. The following month at the Ben Brown Invitational, Brousard broke the USABA discus record with a 41.58-meter throw. Then on April 25th, Brousard broke his own record he had set just one month earlier with a 44.11-meter throw in San Diego. “I am hoping to defend my title in discus and bring back a gold medal for the USA. I hope that my performance on the track can inspire others to achieve their own dreams and aspirations.”
Discus and shot put competitions will take place on May 12 at Incheon Munhak Stadium.
We wish these four gentlemen the best of luck as they represent Team USA in Korea next week. In addition to powerlifting and track & field, athletes from around the world will be participating in chess, 5-a-side football, goalball, judo, showdown, swimming and ten-pin bowling. As part of the 2016 Paralympic qualifying program for athletics, swimming, judo and goalball, some delegations are hoping to confirm Paralympic qualification from the World Games. Since both Men’s and Women’s goalball teams have already qualified for Rio Paralympic Games, Team USA will not be competing on the goalball court at the World Games next week. Follow Charles, Dan, Nick and Kevin’s competition results on the USABA Facebook page and Twitter.