“I had big confidence in my training,” says Master Corporal Gabriel Auclair. “I kept thinking of all the work I did to get there. I focused on my breathing; I trusted my abilities.”
Master Corporal Auclair’s confidence was warranted. Earlier this year, the aviation systems technician (AVN tech) from 12 Wing Shearwater, Nova Scotia, placed first in his weight class and age group, and helped Team Canada’s men’s team earn the number one spot at the 2019 World Masters Olympic Weightlifting Championships in Montréal, Québec.
“It was very stressful because Canada was still in second place when it was my turn,” he says, adding he was the last on the team to compete, and that he knew if he lifted well, it would mean the difference between a silver and a gold for the men’s team.
Competing in the over-35 age group and over-109 kilogram weight class, Master Corporal Auclair pulled through for his teammates in both of his events: the snatch, and the clean and jerk. He lifted 138 kilograms for the snatch and 177 kilograms in the clean and jerk, for a total weight of 315 kilograms. As a first-time member of Team Canada, he set three Canadian records: one for each individual event and one for the combined total.
Back at 12 Wing’s 406 Maritime Operational Training Squadron, Master Corporal Auclair is all smiles when he talks about his experience in Montréal. He says the competition was intense and the American team can be quite intimidating. “But none of…