Kodiak Daily Mirror - World champion
World champion
by Daily Mirror Staff
Jun 30, 2011 | 561 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kodiak’s Christopher Kavanaugh competes in the squat event at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece. Kavanaugh won gold in the squat and captured four medals overall. (Photo courtesy of Fitzgerald Photography)
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Christopher Kavanaugh is a world champion.

The Kodiak resident won four powerlifting medals, including one gold, at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece, on Wednesday.

Before going to Athens, Kavanaugh said he hoped to win at least one medal.

He exceeded that in a big way.

“Chris is a true competitor, always striving to do his personal best and to encourage all of his fellow athletes to do the same,” president/CEO of Special Olympics Alaska Jim Balamaci said. “Although Chris was not able to make his final lift for the gold in the combination event, the international crowd cheered him on and his smile showed all of us why he is a champion.”

Kavanaugh’s gold came in the squat, where he lifted 286 pounds — only four pounds shy of his all-time best and 22 pounds better than runner-up finisher Safwan Esherwali from Libya. The winning lift came on his second lift. He tried 302.5 pounds on his final lift, but did not get it.

His 302-pound deadlift won him a silver medal, while his 143-pound bench press earned bronze.

He also won silver in combination for all three of his lifts totaling 731.5 pounds, only 33 pounds away from gold medal-winner Esherwali.

Overall, Kavanaugh completed six of his nine lifts in the 148.5-pound class. He attempted a 154-pound bench press and a 335.5-pound deadlift but did not get them.

Jan Pendleton of Anchorage also won four medals in gymnastics — one gold and three bronze.

Mellisa Adams of Anchorage took fifth in the 50-meter freestyle on Wednesday.

Kavanaugh’s games are over, but he will remain in Greece through the closing ceremonies on July 4.
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