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Published August 08, 2010, 08:09 PM

Powerlifter Wins Big At Special Olympics

A Grand Forks man won not only one, but three gold medals at this year's Special Olympic National Games.

By: Meagan Millage, WDAZ

A Grand Forks man won not only one, but three gold medals at this year's Special Olympic National Games. But the sport Ben Wahlstrand competed in is one that is fairly new to him.

"You stick with it, you know, you keep trying your best, that's all that anybody can ask for," Special Olympic Athlete Ben Wahlstrand said.

And for Ben Wahlstrand, trying his best paid off in a big way. He won three gold medals for powerlifting at this year's Special Olympic USA National Games.

"I can only say that it was the best experience, you know, ever. I mean I never expected to win three," Wahlstrand said.

Ben has played basketball, volleyball, and track with the Special Olympics North Dakota. He started powerlifting just three years ago.

"I work out three, four times a week. I just walk there," Wahlstrand said.

But, Ben says the best part of the Special Olympics was having 16 of his family members in Lincoln, Nebraska to watch him compete.

"What I can say about my family is they've always been my strongest supporters. They've always believed in me and they make me feel really good," Wahlstrand said.

"Seeing Ben lift, it was just awesome," Ben's dad, Scott Wahlstrand, said.

"Just seeing him part of such a great organization it was so well done, and they gave so much, and the athletes felt of utmost importance," Marcia Wahlstrand, Ben's mom, said.

Ben says his family means everything to him and with their support, he would love to compete in four years at the next National Special Olympic Games.

"I would go back in an instant. I would," Ben exclaimed.

Ben says he also enjoyed watching his North Dakota teammates succeed in other events like swimming, track, and basketball at the national games.

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