Teen weightlifter strives for gold

Third generation weightlifter Boady Santavy of Sarnia has a goal of representing Canada at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. Barry Wright, The Journal

In the basement of a local fitness facility, Boady Santavy trains under the watchful eye of his father and grandfather.

Boady’s father, Dalas, and grandfather, Bob, both competed for Canada in weightlifting at the international level and the youngest of the three generations has every intention of following in their footsteps.

Bob Santavy wore Canadian colours at the Olympics in 1968 in Mexico City and 1976 in Montreal, while Dalas represented Canada at both the Commonwealth Games and the Pan American Games between 1998 and 2007 and is a five-time Canadian Senior Weightlifting champion.

“This is where champions are made,” said Dalas Santavy of the humble surroundings.

The father and coach believes that with hard work and determination his oldest son could crack Canada’s Olympic team for the Summer Games in 2016 and 2020.

“He is better than both of us were at this age,” said Dalas Santavy.  “He’s been focused since he was six years old. He’s got what it takes.”

But, in the short term, the Grade 11 student at St. Patrick’s Catholic High School has set his sights on the Pan American Youth Games in Peru in May.

His winning total lift of 269 kilograms at the recent Canadian Junior Championships in Scarborough in the 77 kg weight class was among the best by youth athletes from Pan American countries in the past year.

“I want to get gold,” said Santavy, who expects his strongest competition to come from lifters representing Mexico, Columbia, Brazil and Venezuela.

The Santavy family is also trying to raise $6,000 to help defray the cost of transportation and lodging in Peru.  To donate, go to www.gofundme.com and enter Boady Santavy in the search box.

Although admitting it’s a longshot, Dalas Santavy says depending on how Boady fares in Peru, the younger Santavy might be invited to represent Canada at the Youth Olympics in China in August.

– Barry Wright