A Gander veteran has brought home two medals from an international powerlifting competition.
On Oct. 26 Robert Glen (Rob) Dyke competed in the North American Powerlifting Federation (NAPF) Pan-American Bench Press Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica. There, the 45-year-old took gold in the 83-kg Masters division and bronze in the 83-kg Open division setting two Pan-American Masters records by benching 350 pounds.
During a 28-year career as an engineer in the Canadian Armed Forces (Air Force), Dyke wore the flag in two tours of Afghanistan and one in Israel/Syria. Nevertheless, he said, representing his country and province at a sporting event was extremely special.
“It was a proud moment for me to be part of such a strong team representing Canada and Newfoundland,” he said. “Lifting on the powerlifting platform with Team Canada at the international event is something I will remember forever.”
Dyke has his aspirations set on the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) World Championships in June in Helsingborg, Sweden.
He has been close before. In the past three years, Dyke has been Newfoundland and Labrador Champion, Eastern Canadian Champion and twice qualified for the Canadian nationals, placing third in Calgary in February of this year and second two years ago in Saguenay, Quebec. Those results qualified him as an alternate for the worlds this year, but he wasn’t needed.
It also qualified him for nationals in Ottawa in March, 2019. If he wins his division there, he will be off to Sweden.
In the meantime, he will be taking part in the Central Newfoundland Championships in Gander Nov. 24.
Dyke was born in Botwood and grew up in Norris Arm South and Hillgrade, New World Island until he entered the forces at age 17.
During his military career, Dyke had eight postings across Canada, most recently to Gander in 2009. He retired from the regular forces in 2015 and now serves in the Reserves.
It was a friend from Ottawa who encouraged Dyke to take up competitive powerlifting three years ago. Although he never competed in weightlifting before 2016, he credits a lifelong commitment to fitness and competitive nature for his success.
“I’ve dabbled in and out of the weight room all my career, but I’ve been physically active for different things all my life,” he said, adding he has also benefitted from community support. “I want to thank all my friends and family that helped me along this journey.”