To say that Phil Brown is a popular athlete in the Annapolis Valley would be an understatement.
He goes by the name Downtown Phil Brown and is known to everyone at Motiv Fitness in New Minas, Nova Scotia.
Brown recently returned from the Canadian Powerlifting Championships in St. John’s, NL, with a pair of medals — two of 14 won by competitors from Nova Scotia.
Unsurprisingly, Brown won gold in the Special Olympics Masters 2 66kg division. But the 54-year-old also won a bronze medal competing in the generic (open) division.
“I’ve been waiting 37 years to go to the generic division with Team Nova Scotia,” Brown said. “I wouldn’t call myself a latecomer, it’s just the length and difficulty of the road I’ve traveled to get there.”
“No regrets,” says Brown
Brown discovered weightlifting when she was 17 years old. He won 185 Special Olympics medals in powerlifting, speed skating and soccer. Competing and succeeding in the generic powerlifting division at Nationals is something he will never forget.
“It was a little different and I went out and did my best,” said Brown, who operates her own DIY service in the Kentville area. “But I had a lot of fun doing it and I have no regrets.”
Brown dedicated his success in Newfoundland to an old friend who died shortly before the nationals. Brown said Steve Miles did something for him that many others hadn’t by giving him a chance.
“He meant a lot to me because he gave me my first job, which was very nice of him,” said Brown, who had to miss Miles’ funeral because he was competing at the outside. “He knew that I struggled with reading and had a disability, but he had a very good heart and he helped me with my studies.”
Brown was part of a highly successful Nova Scotia team winning seven gold medals, including four silver and three bronze.
Gold medalist Erin Chiasson competed in the junior women’s 76 kg division and broke two provincial records in the deadlift and bench press.
Chiasson, a Charlottetown native who came to Halifax three years ago for school, squatted 137.5 kg, lay down 97.5 kg and hit 175 kg in the deadlift.
“I’m super passionate about powerlifting and it feels good to have something to constantly work on and improve on,” Chiasson said.
More records broken
Justin Quedado won a silver medal in the men’s 83 kg category. Like Chiasson, he also broke two Nova Scotia records, making squat and deadlift history.
Quedado, who moved to Halifax five years ago from Edmonton, said his best competitive move was the 300kg deadlift.
“It was the best meeting of my life,” he said.