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Meet Team Delaware’s Powerlifting Team

Head Coach
Eric Neil (Landenberg)

Sterling Johnson (Newark)

Powerlifting is not a sport for the feint of heart. Instead, it involves spending hours upon hours in a workout facility, often all alone or sometimes with only a trainer, working every muscle in one’s body to the max.

The conversations are usually one-sided from trainer to lifter, to “Push harder!”; “Do just one more rep!”; “You got this!”

That’s how it has been for Sterling Johnson and his coach, Eric Neil, over the past several months as teacher and pupil have worked tirelessly at the Training Center in New Castle to ensure that when they fly to Orlando to compete in the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, they will have left nothing in the gym and be ready to compete against the country’s top powerlifters.

Sterling will compete in the squat, bench press and deadlift in a weight class to be determined closer to the competition.

“He enjoys all three events,” Neil explained. “And he has improved in his lifting technique the past month with all three events.”

While a common theme for any athlete is to become bigger, faster and stronger, for Sterling, the emphasis has been on the strength part of that saying.

“His strength increased by improving in the execution of the squat, bench and deadlift,” Neil said.

Sterling will be among more than 100 powerlifters competing at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and while the ultimate goal is to win gold medals, both trainer and powerlifter understand that the final placement won’t define the value of the experience.

“Our goal is to shine in the moment, have fun and compete,” emphasized Neil, who coached at the 2018 USA Games in Seattle. “I’m looking forward to Disney, and the positive energy of the week.”

For more information about Team Delaware, click here.     

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