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Billings hosts American Powerlifting Organization National Championship

Posted at 3:34 PM, Jun 23, 2024

BILLINGS — Powerlifting took center stage this weekend, as the American Powerlifting Organization held its National Championship inside the Big Horn Resort’s Convention Center.

Numerous records fell, as the best of the best were on hand.

“These aren't first-timers. They're setting records and they came here with that in mind," said Jim Thompson, who helped get the event to Billings. "All those events, all those federations put in, and we're setting national records."

To get top-level competition, people from all corners of the United States must attend.

“South Carolina, Rhode Island, Georgia, it's incredible. Utah, Idaho, we've got Montana represented, as well," Thompson said. "We're reaching both coasts. This is a great spot for that, because you can pull both directions."

“When I started I was doing it for the State Games for Special Olympics in South Carolina," said Tyler Chambers, a competitor over the weekend. "I started in 2017."

Chambers was one of those who traveled quite a ways to be in Billings, as he came from Columbia, South Carolina, to compete. The camaraderie in the building was palpable, something that’s helped motivate athletes like Chambers.

“I've made a lot of friends over the years. More friends, the more we become good friends and (it helps) competition," Chambers said.

In total, 93 athletes competed across four divisions, with plenty of hardware dealt out Sunday afternoon.