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Father and daughter become state champions together

“Not every child can be like, able to do something with their dad,” said Kelly.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — #GirlDad is a popular hashtag on social media and John Boudreau is one such dad. And he has found a new way to share time with his 14-year-old daughter Kelly.

"I thought that she would be up to the challenge,” John said.

The challenge is the sport of powerlifting. The two get together twice a week at St. Louis Barbell to pump some iron. Kelly had no hesitation in picking up the weights alongside her dad.

“She was totally down with it,” said John. 

“Not every child can be like, able to do something with their dad,” said Kelly.

“It’s just a nice little bonding time,” John said.

The two are strengthening their bond by getting each other to push a little bit harder during their workouts. 

“He pushes me until like I really can’t like do it which there's never really been like a point where I haven’t,” said Kelly.

John knows first-hand the importance of a good verbal push. He started picking up weights because he was out of shape and wanted to do more with his kids.

“I need to be in better shape for them,” he said.

Now he is packing on the good pounds. The pounds that go onto the ends of the barbells.

“Very proud of him,” Kelly said as she patted him on the shoulder.

John and Kelly have something to be proud of these days. They are both now powerlifting champions. The two of them competed in the USPA 2022 Drug Tested Missouri State meet and both won.

“It was my first meet. Got two big first-place medals,” said Kelly.

John did something big too. 

“I was able to get myself up and qualify for Nationals this year,” he said.

The accomplishments showed them what is possible when they wholeheartedly commit to something.

“If I try like hard enough you know and like put a lot of effort into it, I can succeed. And I can do that with like everything,” said Kelly.

Now the father-daughter duo is training for more success.

“I think we can go places,” said Kelly.

She believes they can team up for even bigger titles.

“Next year for Nationals like we could go together,” she said.

The Boudreaus didn’t just win state titles, each of them set state age-group records in the squat, bench press, and deadlift.


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