post Powerlifting Prodigy Peter Vong: Injury to Junior Nationals

Powerlifting Prodigy Peter Vong: Injury to Junior Nationals

Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Published by Christiana Mikesch, CPT | Senior Coach
Last updated: January 7, 2024
Powerlifting Prodigy Peter Vong
Courtesy of: https://www.federalwaymirror.com

At just 18, Peter Vong is a force to be reckoned with in the powerlifting world. This Federal Way High School alum has already smashed eight Washington state records in the USA Powerlifting Federation. His squat lift of 195 kg (429.9 pounds) is the highest in the world, and he ranks sixth overall in his division. But Vong’s journey to the top hasn’t been a walk in the park.

Vong began lifting during the pandemic, turning adversity into opportunity. “At that point in the pandemic, most gyms were closed, so you really had to work find a gym or a home gym … Once I got in, I was like, okay, I have to prove the coach wrong and myself right,” Vong shared. His technical approach to sports, honed from his days as a sprinter and wrestler, served him well in powerlifting.

However, two months before his bid for the number one spot, disaster struck. A back injury during a deadlift session left him sidelined. “I was training really hard (to be number one). I honestly really think it was a freak accident. I heard ‘crack, crack, crack.’ Dropped the weight and laid down. My back was purple,” Vong recalled.

The injury forced Vong to step away from lifting and focus on recovery. “I tried coming back to lifting. I could lift heavy weight, but my back would start spazzing out. So I had to quit. That’s how I fixed it,” he said. His recovery involved chiropractic care, massage therapy, and acupuncture.

Despite the setback, Vong’s spirit remained unbroken. “There were moments where I was training for track and my back starts tweaking and I wasn’t even lifting heavy weights … There was a lot of back and fourth,” he said.

But he persevered, driven by his passion for powerlifting and the desire to prove his doubters wrong.

Now, Vong is setting his sights on the Junior Nationals in Austin, Texas, on May 17. “My goal is to win it. I believe I can do it with the progress that I have made. I do have to play a little catch-up in five months. But my mindset with my injuries solidified myself in becoming consistent,” Vong said. “Having belief in yourself is the biggest thing you can do for yourself.”

Vong’s journey is a testament to the power of resilience and determination. His story serves as an inspiration to all aspiring athletes, proving that setbacks can be stepping stones to success.

“Powerlifting Prodigy Peter Vong: From Injury to Junior Nationals”

At just 18, Peter Vong is a force to be reckoned with in the powerlifting world. This Federal Way High School alum has already smashed eight state records in the USA Powerlifting Federation. But it’s not just his impressive stats that make his story remarkable, it’s his resilience in the face of adversity.

Vong’s powerlifting journey began during the pandemic, when he started lifting weights in his sophomore year. Despite the challenges of finding a gym during lockdown, Vong was determined to prove himself. “Once I got in, I was like, okay, I have to prove the coach wrong and myself right,” he said.

His technical approach to sports, honed from his days as a sprinter and wrestler, served him well in powerlifting. He quickly rose to the top, boasting the highest total weight for the squat lift at 195 kg (429.9 pounds), and ranking sixth overall in the world in his division.

But Vong’s journey hasn’t been without its hurdles. In 2023, he suffered a severe back injury during a deadlift, just two months before competing for the number one spot. The injury forced him to temporarily quit lifting and focus on recovery.

“I went to a chiropractor full time, got massage therapy and acupuncture. I laid off the weight, and sometimes it humbles you,” Vong said.

Despite the physical and mental toll of his injury, Vong remained undeterred. He’s now back in the game, with his sights set on the junior nationals in Austin, Texas, on May 17.

“My goal is to win it. I believe I can do it with the progress that I have made. I do have to play a little catch-up in five months. But my mindset with my injuries solidified myself in becoming consistent,” Vong said.

Vong’s story is a testament to the power of resilience and self-belief. As he prepares for the junior nationals, he’s not just lifting weights, he’s lifting the spirits of aspiring powerlifters everywhere.

Also Read: CrossFit Champ Justin Medeiros Flexes Powerlifting Prowess

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