In a Special Olympics powerlifting tournament in Manassas, Gabriel Homes residents showed up in full force with first- and second-place finishes.

Gabriel Homes resident powerlifting at tournament.

Champion's Routine

Residents train every Tuesday evening at IMP Fitness, where coaches like Seth Abrams, Tim Figueroa, and Bill Whiteside push their weight limits. Abrams and Whiteside have been involved with the Special Olympics for over a decade and are leaders for competitors.

I see these guys working hard and challenging themselves at practice. To see them compete and do their best is the ultimate rush.

Gabriel Homes resident powerlifting at tournament.

Gold and Silver Medals Galore

Residents showed up strong in the push-pull event. In this category, participants did bench presses and deadlifts. Relative to their weight class, champions are crowned based on the total amount they can lift.

John and Chris finished first and second place in their weight class respectively, and Joe took home the gold in a separate class.

“It wasn’t easy doing the lift, but I’m proud of myself for getting strong enough to do it,” Joe said.

On the other hand, the three-event powerlift includes the squat, bench press, and deadlift. For this competition, Sam, Patrick, and Sean had first- place finishes in their weight classes.

See our residents crushing the competition!

It feels good to win! When we had dinner later that week, I brought out my medal and all my roommates cheered for me.
Gabriel Homes resident powerlifting at tournament.
Gabriel Homes Resident
Gabriel Homes resident powerlifting at tournament.

On to the Next Competition

Sights are already set for the next powerlifting competition, but the residents are taking in the moment before they return to training.

“Not only do the Special Olympics keep residents healthy, but they are also excellent social and morale boosters,” Whiteside said, whose son also participates in Special Olympics tournaments. "The excitement and happiness they show when competing fills your heart with pride for their accomplishments.”