Women in Weightlifting (Canadian Edition)- Guest Writer Lilli Carr

Hey, it's Viv and welcome if it's your first time visiting! 

Last few weeks has been couples in love, Germany, Meissen Cup, 1:1 athlete photo sessions... all awesome things because that means I am creating and meeting people.  Two of my favorite things in life.  But with that, the universe hasn't given me extra time in the day!!!!  lol

In 2018, Everyday Lifters has brought on some Guest Writers.  It's been such a powerful way to get ideas and stories shared from different parts of the world.   

I can finally come back and continue posting these incredible posts by you guys.. the followers, readers, the average weightlifter.  

Today I'd like to introduce you to Lilli Carr. At the end of this post, please read a little bit about Lilli and her idea behind this interview.

Without further ado, here is Lilli's Piece on Canadian Female Weightlifters.  

Canadian Eh?

In a place where polar bears, snow (lots of snow), Tim Hortons, poutine and hockey define a nation Canada is more than just that country where people say sorry a lot. Canada is home to 2017 World Championship snatch silver medalist Maude Charron, two time olympian Marie Ève Beauchemin-Nadeau and first Canadian female Olympic medalist Christine Girard.

When given the opportunity to write this article I really wanted to showcase Canadian weightlifters that inspire me and shine the spotlight on their accomplishments. While there are a number of different weightlifters who have left their legacy the women I chose to highlight have had long standing careers and have represented Canada a number of different times on the world stage.

Excited at this opportunity I decided to reach out to them with some questions. I had my fingers crossed hoping I could slip into their DMs. When I got some messages back expressing interest I was over the moon. I hope that their interviews give you a glimpse of who they are on and off the platform and inspire you just as they have me!

Christine Girard

“Unleash the incredible force that’s inside you”

Christine Girard is no stranger to the platform and grew up in a weightlifting household, training in a basement gym. At the age of 16 Girard had attended her first international competition, in Greece. The following year she earned Bronze in the Clean and Jerk at the Commonwealth Games. This was just her beginning! Her legacy in Canada will be forever be remembered as the first Canadian female to podium at the Olympics (2008 Beijing Bronze and 2012 London Gold - 63kg). 

Here is her interview:

What is it like to know you are the first Canadian female to medal at the Olympics?

I’m feeling like I’m opening the doors to other lifters, showing that it is possible to get there and that it is worth it to dream big and to persevere no matter what. I also wrote a book on my story between 2008 and 2012, to tell the world that training to get on an Olympic Podium is not easy, but it is for sure worth it. All the little decision I made during those 4 years got me on the podium…and years later, we learned that it actually got me a gold medal. The journey was hard, but was worth it, and I hope that by sharing it, it helps other athletes to keep pushing themselves even when life is challenging. 

How would you describe the mental process of weightlifting (in training and competition)?

Weightlifting is one of the best sport to get to know yourself and learn how to push your limit. The mental side of training and competing is what make this sport so addictive for athletes. It is always you and the bar, so whenever you are putting your hands on the bar, you are testing yourself. 

How does it feel to stand on the platform, at an international event, representing Canada?

Representing our Country is for sure one of the best way to feel proud and accomplish. The reward is as big as the challenge, so the higher level of competition, the higher the emotions are. So the stress level is high, but that is what makes those meet so worth it! 

What is a piece of advice you'd give to aspiring young lifters?

To be patient and keep working hard no matter what. We all want fast results, but the one that get to the finish line faster than the other are the one that doesn’t quite. Talent is one part of the equation, but what makes the real difference at the end is the mental toughness, which you can practice every day, at every training.

Marie-Eve Beauchemin-Nadeau


This next weightlifter almost doesn’t need an introduction. From competing in the Pan American Games, Universiade, FISU World University Championships, the Commonwealth Games, World Championships and the Olympics. Marie-Eve Beauchemin-Nadeau has had a large presence at home and abroad. Competing in the 75kg or 69kg category Beauchemin-Nadeau has secured medal in both. 

Here is her interview:

 Are there any athletes/people/coaches that have inspired you throughout your career?

I think that a couple of athletes have inspired me during my career. The first one to mention would be Maryse Turcotte. She was in the Olympics in 2000 and 2004, most of the time studying or working. She had a huge workload capacity and was always very consistent in her training. She told me once, when I was going through a hard time in my training, that I would not get to achieve my athletics goals if I did not enjoy myself more. That was a good reminder that sports is supposed to be fun in the first place. Another huge lifter who inspired me a lot is Christine Girard (Olympic Games 2008 and 2012). I remember her dedication not only in her training, but also in everything related to performance (eating, rehab exercices et everything else). I remember her getting up every morning with one single thought between 2008 and 2012: an Olympic podium. She ended up with one in 2012, but eventually with 2 after the disqualification of other lifters from 2008 and 2012. The consistency in her dedication every single day was really inspiring for me.

Having to balance training and personal/university life What are some of your favourite ways to relax?

I used to train and study at the same time. Now I work and train at the same time. For olympic preparation periods, I have tried doing only weightlifting, but I found that I was the happiest when I was more busy. I also always have had better weightlifting results when I was doing something else at the same time. Having something to distract me from weightlifting is just healthy and prevents me from overthinking everything. Work and studies made me relax more about weightlifting, and weight lifting made me relax more about work and studies. When I have time, I like spending it with my boyfriend, with my family and with my friends, or simply reading books or cooking.

How have you seen Canadian weightlifting evolve over the years? 
    There are some great things and some bad things. I think that the community is more connected and shares more about training, and the addition of some crossfitters has brought different means of training and seeing the sport. Also, there has been a lot of developpement in many provinces. When I started, almost every lifter came from Quebec, and a few came from Ontario. Now, we have people from all over the country, and that brings diversity and health to our sport. Some of the things that I don't like is that with social media, it seems like a lot of athletes are focussing on the wrong things. People spend a lot of energy at brending themselves and I think they would get more reward if they focussed on the lifting more. This or that natural product or piece of cloth or protein or supplement is not going to make you lift more. What really makes a difference is training hard, resting a lot, eating well and good coaching. Also, I miss the time when people were not always on their phone during training. We used to chat between sets.

How would you describe the mental process of weightlifting (in training and competition)?

BE. IN. THE. MOMENT. Weightlifting is a sport where focus is so important because of the short duration of the lifts. If your mind wanders off, you will underperform for sure. If you are thinking about numbers, objectives, your life goals or even to what you are going to eat tonight or how you are going to do on your exam tomorrow, you will not gain the maximum benefits from the bar you are lifting in training, and you put yourself at risk of missing in competition. One thing that really helps me staying in the moment both in training and in competition, is focussing on my heart beats. I get back inside of myself, in the middle of my core, and forget about the world. But every trick could work. You have to find the one that fits you.

What is a piece of advice you'd give to aspiring young lifters?

A lot of different advices come to my mind. More and more weightlifters come as adults now in the sport, so they very often are already strong, but often enough they are struggling with the technique and get embarrassed by "not being good enough". I can't count the number of times when I heard people not wanting to compete or to even show up to weightlifting classes because they "weren't good enough". You don't get good without practice, nobody does. And you don't ever get "good enough". Ask world champions and olympic champions. They don't think they are "good enough", because you can always get better at what you do, and that applies to any kind of practice, not just weightlifting. So if you are having fun lifting and if you get a thrill from getting under a bar, then just do it. Go out there, practice, compete and have fun.

Also, don't feel like you are being criticize when someone gives you lifting advice. You want to get better, so listen to people with more experience. The objective is just to help you get better, not bring you down.

Maude Charron

“To do what others won’t, so tomorrow I’ll do what others can’t.”

You may have seen this weightlifter on the podium at this past years World Championships, 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games or at the Crossfit Games Open. Maude Charron having only started her journey with the barbell in 2013 (Crossfit Rimouski) has shown how much potential she has with her recent successes including her record breaking Gold performance at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. 

Here is her interview:

What’s your go to meal/food before a competition?

Usually, I compete in early afternoon and because of the weight in, I don’t eat in the morning. My favorite meal of the day is breakfast so I always eat my breakfast after my weight in; eggs, fruits, peanut butter, BACON!!

What was going through your mind standing on the podium, at Worlds, holding up the Canadian flag?

Here’s the proof that a clean athlete, working, studying and living in a small town far from all the metropoles, out of group B, from Canada, can win a medal.

Are they any athletes that have inspired you throughout your career?

From CrossFit, Michele Letendre was and still is one of the athletes who inspires me everyday to Christine Girard and her stories out of the Olympics.

How have you seen Canadian weightlifting evolve over the years?

I hoped that the stories of Christine Girard would give to Canadian people a better vision of the sport. With CrossFit, people are more aware of the difficulties of this sport and it increased the popularity. Still, I practice this sport since 4 years now. I may have not seen the changes as athletes with more experiences but I will work hard to contribute to the popularity of this sport.

How would you describe the mental process of weightlifting and how it relates to performance?

Lifting weights takes courage, mental toughness, motivation and dedication. It’s an everyday work and a lifestyle. You need to train hard but for this, you have to eat clean, sleep well and have the best recovery to workout again the next day. You need to believe you can do it, otherwise, the bar will drop. In competition, there is no place for doubt; your job is lift weights. 

What gets you up in the morning?

To do what others won’t, so tomorrow I’ll do what others can’t.

Otherwise it’s my dog or school!!

A little bit about The Everyday Lifters' Guest Writer, Lilli Carr:

Candid 😬😉

A post shared by Lilli Carr (@carrlilli) on

"It’s been a quick year and a half since I started Olympic weightlifting and it all started on a 10am Saturday morning in Calgary Alberta. I never thought that this would be a sport I would get involved in yet the focus, commitment and determination required really drew me in. My coach has been hugely supportive and has seen everything from the no PR ugly cry face to serious let’s do this game face (shout out to Dr. Mather!). I keep busy between weightlifting, university (4th year economics), work and personal life. I feel like each year more opportunities for growth present themselves and in the next few years I hope to work towards my National Coaching Certificate and maybe try my hand at a massage therapy diploma. "

I've got my third competition coming up in the next few weeks so I am getting ready for that. I'm on the fence between the 53kg and 58kg's which is making me a bit nervous if I want to make weight! I also just started working full time at a summer co-op which has kept me very busy.   Keeping up with life is hard!" 

"It was a pleasure to write this article and gave me the opportunity to interview weightlifters who have been influential in shaping the sport in Canada. As weightlifting continues to grow these women will serve as great examples of hard work and determination for the future generations." 

-Lilli Carr