Marie-Josée Arès-Pilon is a Canadian weightlifter who discovered the sport in 2003. She had been on the lookout for a gym to help keep fit one summer, but the town of Marystown didn’t have one. Instead, she joined a small group of Newfoundlanders practicing weightlifting in a basement, including 1984 Olympian Bert Squires.
“I had no idea I was going to compete in the sport, but it didn’t take long for it to become my passion.”
Marie-Josée’s unconventional beginning in weightlifting seems to have helped her, as she enjoys the rush of lifting just as she did when she started at 21.
Marie-Josée’s bronze medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games has been her favourite event to date. This was the only medal won by a Manitoban at these Games, and the first ever for a female Manitoban weightlifter. She was proud to represent Canada internationally, and had fun.
Marie-Josée’s most memorable opportunity in weightlifting was having the chance to train with Paul Coffa, the former Australian Weightlifting coach at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute. She admires the vision he has for the sport, the opportunities he provides for weightlifters around the world, and the honourable passion he holds.
Something you didn’t know about Marie-Josée: “I used to be a figure skater.”
Competing at the 2015 Pan Am Games: