Athlete James Ellison set new records while competing in the the 2015 State Summer Games powerlifting events.
James hails from Plymouth, Michigan in Area 23 (Wayne County). He has been involved with Special Olympics for about ten years, but has only been lifting for six. James' immense strength landed him a spot on his high school's varsity football team, where he began to get serious about lifting.
James has been a driving force within the powerlifting events, inspiring many athletes to constantly push themselves to achieve as much as they can and aim for greatness. The support that the athletes within the powerlifting events is apparent, they all root for each other no matter if a lift was successful or not. "My favorite part is that you can see the unity of the teams, and how everyone comes together," said James.
This year, James competed in the squat, bench and deadlift events where the crowd watched in awe as he successfully squatted 500 pounds, which was 35 pounds more than his successful 465 pound squat. "I have only successfully squatted 500 pounds once before, and that was in high school," said James.
After breaking a personal record while competing, James went on to break the record for heaviest open dead lift in Summer Games history. James broke the record by dead lifting an incredible 550 pounds. This accomplishment was accompanied by roars of cheers from the crowd as well as James' fellow competitors. The athletes showed true sportsmanship throughout the powerlifting events, celebrating alongside James as he set new records.
"I plan to come back next year," said James. And, when asked about his future goals, James said, "I don't set goals, I just lift and see how far I can go. It's limitless."