Top vegan powerlifter Julia Trezise-Conroy has smashed all possible records at the World Championship qualifiers – despite suffering from tonsilitis.
The New Zealand athlete had been confined to bed due to an eight-day bout of the illness but managed to drag herself to the event which saw her qualify for the World Championships and the Drug-Tested World Championships.
Despite her woeful preparation, Trezise-Conroy finished as first female overall, which was decided using the Wilks system – a points-based formula comparing lifters in different weight categories.
She weighed in for the 56kg category where she achieved a squat of 105kg, netting her the International Powerlifting League (IPL) NZ national record. Her bench of 67.5kg was also a record, and a 140 kg deadlift completed the set.
Trezise-Conroy told Great Vegan Athletes: “I’m not quite recovered but today was the first day I started to feel better, which is lucky. Today’s lifts weren’t what I was training for – until I got sick, I was very much on track for a predicted 390 Wilks total [she totaled a little over 375], so deep in my heart, I was a little disappointed. I’m looking forward to hitting the right numbers by the end of the year, though.”
She told GVA that before her illness she had been planning to squat 110kg, bench 67.5 kg and attempt a deadlift of 142.5 kg.
Trezise-Conroy, a fitness trainer, has been vegan since 2013 after discovering ‘the reality of using and abusing animals for food and other products’.
Speaking to Great Vegan Athletes about veganism in 2017, she said: “Once you become aware of the animal abuse happening every day, it just seems untenable to continue to contribute to that. I wish I’d had my eyes opened earlier; if I had known at the age of 10 what I know today, I would have been vegan since then.
“I regret my years as a consumer of animal products, and I regret contributing to the needless suffering of animals.”