SOAP LAKE – David Kenney, 64, spent years as a Special Olympics bowler and won numerous medals along the way. Now, Kenney will travel to Spokane this weekend for his first Special Olympics powerlifting competition.
“I had been bowling, and I have all the medals they have,” Kenney said, pointing to the various Special Olympics medals around his neck. “And I also trained at Anytime Fitness in Ephrata with my trainer”
Kenney recalled a story from when he lived in Maine, where his mother had moved back into the house and heavier items in the kitchen had been moved. He said he always had a fascination with lifting and moving heavy objects, something that continues to this day.
“When I was younger in Maine, I was really into heavy lifting,” Kenney said.
Kenney moved to the pool in 2015 and started in the Special Olympics bowling program in 2018. Since then, he has won eight medals, including six gold. He’s spent much of his time in the gym since moving to the pool, doing “all kinds of things” he can.
“Before I came here, I weighed almost 300 pounds,” Kenney said. “And my doctor in the East told me that if I continued, I wouldn’t be here in 10 years. So I do all kinds of things that I can do.
The progress Kenney has made in the gym has been shown, claiming he lost weight closer to 210 pounds.
“When I first walked into the gym, I couldn’t even put a barbell on my back – it was so bad,” Kenney said. “So now I’m squatting like 190 (pounds).”
His trainer, Holli Bosnar, even gave Kenney a new nickname.
“At the gym they call me ‘The Beast from the East,'” Kenney said. “Because I’m from Maine and I work so hard at the gym I’m like a beast.”
As Soap Lake native Kenney prepares for his first powerlifting competition, he can’t wait to begin a new experience in athletics.
“Part of me is excited to do it, but the other part is a little scared because I don’t know what I’m going to expect the first time,” Kenney said.
While the nerves can be overwhelming, Kenney has strong family support in the area backing him up in his endeavors. He said those in attendance planned to wear shirts with his Beast from the East name on them.
“My sister and my brother-in-law have been really good supporters through things, and when I have bowling tournaments, they’re always there, along with my nephews and their wives,” Kenney said.
Along with participating in different Special Olympics events, Kenney has also worked alongside to help support local Special Olympics programs.
“In the Polar Plunge I did at Crescent Bar, I raised over $1,400 for Special Olympics,” Kenney said.
Kenney said he was taking the advice of a close friend who recently passed away, whose last words to him were to “do the best you can”.
“Focus and do my best,” Kenney said of what he can take from bowling and apply to his first powerlifting competition.
The powerlifting meet will be held at Forward in Spokane on Saturday, and Kenney said he will lift at 11:30 a.m.
“If I get a medal out of it, I do it,” Kenney said. “If I don’t, that’s fine too!” Because I did my best. »
Kenney ended by calling for an increase in the number of Special Olympics events here in the pool, and even the meet in Spokane is the first event “in a long time.”
Ian Bivona can be reached at [email protected]