• Quick Study: A Conversation With 2014 IPF Junior World Champion Mikelina Belaineh - By Adam Palmer

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      RTS: Tell me how you got started with powerlifting?

      Mikelina (Mickey) Belaineh: Iíve been powerlifting for 2 years now. I started at A&M after a member of the A&M powerlifting team saw me lifting in the student rec center, and suggested that I come to a practice because they thought I had potential to do well in the sport and could be an asset to the team in the upcoming USAPL Collegiate National Championships. In 1 week, I had to learn how to do the powerlifts properly (squat to USAPL/IPF depth, bench w/a pause/feet flat/butt on bench) in order to try and get qualified for Collegiate Nationals on time. A week from stepping foot into the A&M Powerlifting gym, I competed in my first USAPL meet and got qualified for USAPL Collegiate Nationals.

      The next 8 weeks (how long I had before Nationals) were spent trying to learn good technique and hopefully building up some additional strength. At the end of my 8 week crash course in USAPL standards of powerlifting, I won the Collegiate National Championship for the 198lb class. This experience is what got me started in powerlifting, and ultimately what made me fall in love with the sport (the Aggie Powerlifting Team & Coach played a huge role in this). I've been competing/training ever since!

      RTS: So are you a crossover athlete at all? What was your sports background before powerlifting?

      Mickey: Before powerlifting, Swimming and Tennis were my main sports. I had opportunities to play Tennis at NCAA Division 2 and Division 3 schools, but passed because I wanted to go to a big school like A&M.

      RTS: What club did you swim for?
      Mickey: I swam for the Arlington Stingrays for most of my time as a swimmer, then MARS in DFW because the head coach was also the coach for my high school. Then I picked up tennis, ended up being good at it, and tennis kind of took over my life (laughs). I played varsity, club, and had two a day practices throughout the week. ...more
      Comments 2 Comments
      1. Mark Robb's Avatar
        Mark Robb -
        Inspiring article, Mickey!
      1. Alexandru's Avatar
        Alexandru -
        Awesome article, and congrats on the IPF win and the ACLU work!