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Josée Gallant

Truro, Nova Scotia
5th at the 2022 Pan American Weightlifting Championship. 8th at the 2022 IWF World Championships.   2nd at the 2023 Pan American Championships.

Starting a sport is the first step to a long road of empowerment. 

Josée started weightlifting in her hometown of Cambellton, New Brunswick.

After years of training, she started competing at the New Brunswick provincial competition and in 2017 she won her first provincial competition. Following that, she competed at the Atlantic Cup in Truro, Nova Scotia, winning top spot there as well.

After having competed at only two previous events, Josée went to the national competition later that year, where she came in first place. Sadly, it wasn’t the celebration she expected as her mother suddenly passed away the day after she won nationals.

“I went from a big high, to a big low,” recalls Josée.

Josée used her passion for weightlifting to help her overcome her grief and continue pushing herself in her sport. With the memory of her mother as her drive and inspiration, she spent five years pushing herself until she found the love of the sport again.

In 2022, Josée competed at nationals again, which happened to fall on the same date as when she won the first time in 2017. Heading into this competition, it was important for Josée to compete for herself again, letting her personal passion for the sport leading her to success.  

“I started grasping weightlifting for myself again, feeling like I was having fun and enjoying the process,” said Josée. “I wasn’t doing it for anything or anyone, it was just for me.”

Josée’s hard work paid off and she got to represent Canada at the 2022 Pan American Weightlifting Championship and finished 5th, 2022 IWF World Championships and finished 8th, and at the 2023 Pan American Championships and finished 2nd .

In competing for Team Canada, Josée says that it makes her grateful for being Canadian.

“You start to get to pride about being Canadian,” said Josée. “Even hearing the national anthem now hits differently.”

Through Support4Sport funding, Josée was able to do what a lot of athletes can’t – focus on weightlifting without worrying about making ends-meet, and being able to do what she loves without financial stress.

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