Local 81-year-old man breaks his world deadlift record
By Taylor Hale
PORTAGE COUNTY – County native Sigurd Sandstrom, 81, broke the world record deadlift for athletes ages 80-84 on June 5 a second time at the World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters (WABDL) American World Cup Bench Press and Deadlift Championships, hosted at the Chula Vista Resort in the Wisconsin Dells.
Sandstrom obtained the world record in 2018 with a lift of 260.1 pounds, and pushed himself even further this year, lifting 270 pounds.
“My opening lift on stage, with at least 200-300 people out there watching, was 220 pounds, and that came up like a piece of paper. The second lift was 242, and that came up like a piece of paper. So my next lift is to break the world record, so I put on 264. I did that pretty easily, but I had one more pull. My kids and two daughters were there and said to put 280 on there,” Sandstrom laughed.
Sandstrom said he cleared the 270 pounds with ease and feels that he could have taken on the 280 pounds challenged offered by his family. But opted to play the last pull safely.
“I did it easily, and then I knew I could have pulled 280, but I didn’t have any more lifts yet,” Sandstrom explained, noting that contestants only get four attempts at lifts when trying to break a record.
Sandstrom and his peers checked with other federations around the nation and online, and could not find anyone with a cataloged weight higher than 270 pounds, meaning Sandstrom now carries the title of strongest male in the 80-84 age group.
Roughly 118 competitors were at the meet, though Sandstrom competed alone in his age bracket.
Sandstrom said he might continue to practice and attempt to beat his record at one of the two other WABDL meets this year, though he may throw in the towel and enjoy the vigorous work he has already invested.
“I started working out seriously at about 70, and started going to meets around 77,” Sandstrom said. “I am not sure if I am going to go or not. I have to figure that out, yet.”
To learn more about the World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters, visit: wabdl.org.