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Local lifter claims silver at Junior Panam Championships

Recently back from Colombia, the local teen weightlifter reflects on his training, performance, and future goals.

For the first time in his career, Jaxon Severo has donned the red and white at an international competition.

Severo, an 18-year-old  St. Albert Catholic High School (SACHS) student who trains out of Farm Strong Athletics, recently clinched a silver medal at the Junior Panam Weightlifting Championships held in Colombia on May 14th.

Training for the event was challenging but rewarding, Severo said. 

"The training process was difficult as we tend to train at very high intensity and with heavy weights,” said Severo.

“Frequently pushing my maxes was common leading up to Junior Panams," he said, adding recovery and nutrition were also key components of his success. 

"Getting enough rest and dieting to fit in my weight class are the hardest parts."

Despite being in the junior age category, Severo hit the qualifying total for Panams at senior provincials in Calgary.

In Colombia, Severo successfully completed all six of his attempts. He competed in the 96 kilogram weight class, achieving a 133 kilogram snatch and a 165 kilogram clean and jerk. Severo was successful in all of his six attempts.

The young lifter said he felt proud to represent his country on the national stage.

"Being able to represent Canada is an honour," he said. 

"I always make sure to wear the gear provided to me to make sure everyone knows where I’m from."

Being one of the few weightlifters sent from Alberta, as opposed to the typical provinces of Quebec or Ontario, was an additional source of pride for Severo.

Following his success at the Junior Panam Championships, Severo already has his sights set on his next target: the Junior Worlds, which is the top competition for juniors internationally. 

"With a few more months of training, competing there is very much within reach. I’m excited to once again be a representative for Canada on the international stage."

“Words can't describe how proud we all are of Jaxon's achievement,” said Farm Strong’s Danny Schultz, who has also represented Canada in weightlifting.

“He has worked so hard for this.”

As Schultz points out, the young Severo is still a relative newcomer to the sport, but what he lacks in experience he has made up for in focus and dedication.

Most of Severo's weightliging career has been during COVID and would train out of his basement and send Schultz videos of his lifts. 

“Through it all, he kept going," Schultz said. "He stayed positive and showed up consistently every training session."

“Jaxon has such a great positive attitude, and it's infectious at the gym. He is incredibly hard-working and has fun doing it. He is considerate and very empathetic towards his teammates. As his coach, I am so proud of him, and I'm excited to watch him grow — not only as an athlete but as a person.”


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