Randy's Rookies: Jesika Deslauriers lifts past the competition
Published Wednesday, June 20, 2012 5:08PM EDT
It takes strength, power and technique to be a great weightlifter -- and Jesika Deslauriers has all three.
The Huntingdon teenager placed second at the Quebec High School Championships this year, after first picking up the sport two years ago.
But for Jesika, lifting 190 pounds over her head is just another day at the office. She spends six gruelling days a week at the gym, and said she wouldn't have it any other way.
“It's not hard, because I like the sport," she said, explaining that her father turned her on to the sport, and her mother is a regular fixture at the gym.
In the beginning, Jesika’s mom Penny said she wasn't really sure about seeing her daughter lifting such heavy weights.
“I thought it was pretty hard for her because, you know, I see girls putting it on top of their head and it's a lot of weight,” she said.
But it quickly became clear Jesika could handle the weight as she started winning medals.
In her first year, she won a provincial bronze medal and came fifth at the Quebec Games.
Now, younger sister Selena is picking up the sport to follow in Jesika's footsteps, the same way Jesika used to play hockey to emulate her brother Nicolas, who was drafted by the LA Kings in 2009.
Now, Nicholas is one of her biggest supporters, even when he's on the road with the Kings’ AHL team, Manchester Monarchs.
"Before my competitions, he's always texting me, ‘Let's go,’ ‘Finish first,’ and ‘Do your best," said Jesika.
Jesika hopes to one day reach that level of some of the national competitors whose pictures line the wall of Arthur-Pigeon High School weight room.
Her coach Raphael Zuffelato thinks she has what it takes.
“She has everything she needs to be a champion one of these days,” he said.