Icelandic powerlifter Hulda B Waage has broken two of her own national records during a competition in her home country.
The athlete - known as the 'Vegan Viking' - managed the impressive feat despite dealing with sciatica and piriformis syndrome, which she said made lifting more challenging.
In fact, she thought she may fail to qualify for the World Championships in November 2019, which has been her main aim this year, as a result of her health - but told Great Vegan Athletes that the recent meet went better than I imagined.
Waage already held an impressive record for squat going into the competition, and in squatting 230 kg she broke her own record with her first lift – only to rebreak it again with her second lift.
She benched 140 kg and then deadlifted 180 kg. The total of 550kg added over 10kg to the national record – which she already held, leaving her with a total of two new records.
In Iceland, a country known for its strength sports, Waage's impact has been remarkable.
The 32-year-old, who weighed in at 82.2 kg, finished the competition as the highest ranked woman, ranking third of all lifters using the Wilks system which enables comparison of competitors of different weights.
Waage became interested in veganism as a teenager before committing in 2014.
"I would rather starve when traveling than eating something not vegan," she told GVA. "But when traveling I always take something with me to make it easier.
"Like Black Bean Pasta, hummus or dried beans and nuts. I take protein powder with me and often dried wheatgrass and chlorella."
While veganism is still rare among powerlifters in her country, she has come across vegans in other sports. "There are vegans in football, handball and basketball, judo, running and so on. I've been asked by the athletes who are going vegan for advice."
Another achievement with her lifts was that she qualifies for the World Championships in November 2019.
"So I have a whole year to prepare," she said. "First of all, I have a team working with me to get fixed. I'm working hard to get injury-free. I'm going to get my nutrition and macro counting on point.
"And of course I will be training hard a competing both nationally and internationally to be fully content when I step on that big stage."
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Great Vegan Athletes was set up to celebrate the incredible achievements of elite vegan athletes, and highlight that a vegan diet is in no way a hindrance to athletic excellence. The writers profile more than 100 top level athletes - including world champions and world record holders across a range of sports, as well as spreading news of their success. The site can be found at www.greatveganathletes.com and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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