Tell us about your medal wins at the Junior Olympic Games?
This was my 6th Junior Olympics Games, and my 6th medals. It was also fulfilling to set world records for the 6th year in a row. It was great returning to Des Moines as an Arizonan! I won 11 gold and 3 silver medals at this year’s games — 4 gold in powerlifting, 4 gold and 1 silver in the combine, and 3 gold and 2 silver in the first-ever JO Games Feats of Strength.
How did you feel about your medal wins? What win made you feel most accomplished?
Receiving the Joel Ferrell award was the big honor… it normally goes to a senior, and I have watched seniors over the last few years receive this award, so I know it is a big deal. I hope I can continue to live up to that standard, since it is the highest Junior Olympics award given.
How many hours a week do you spend training for these competitions? What are the hardest parts of being a powerlifter?
I usually dive three hours a day, five days a week; I also train the powerlifts, plyometrics and sprints three-to-four times a week, 60-90 minutes per workout, and I focus on my diet and trying to eat clean all year round. I don’t consider myself just a powerlifter – I lift, I dive and I am training in skeleton, which is a winter Olympic sliding sport; the hardest part of being a multi-sport competitive athlete is synching up my different types of training, and getting enough rest and recovery time. The speed and power training helps me in my other sports.
Where are you moving to Arizona from? Do you like AZ so far?
The people I have met while playing the violin at senior centers around the Valley have been extraordinarily friendly and welcoming. The weather here is great for diving training, because I have the opportunity to train outside all year round — unlike Iowa, where I came from. All of the people here have been warm and welcoming, including my diving coaches, Kristin Pruett and Frank Pipitone. In Arizona, we are also now much closer to Park City, Utah, so I will be able to train in skeleton several times this winter. My father and I are still looking for the right hardcore lifting gym in our area near PCDS for my strength and conditioning training, but I’m sure we will find the right JO Games winning multiple gold gym soon that takes speed and strength training seriously.
What are some of the things that you are looking forward to attending PCDS as a sophomore?
I am really looking forward to meeting new people and starting a new curriculum. As a former military kid, I’m used to moving, and making new friends, so that will be exciting this year.
Tell us your involvement in your violin playing?
I have been part of a string ensemble since I was 6 years old. I started playing solo concerts a few years ago — weddings, funerals, weekly church services,and special events. I like to perform, but mostly, I enjoy sharing my music with others and putting smiles on their faces… My mother often tells me when I play at senior centers that I might be the highlight of someone’s day, or might help bring back fond memories…what better use of music could there be?
What do you aspire to be when you grow up?
I’d like to work in the field of medicine – whether as a doctor, researcher or scientist.
When not in the gym, what else do you enjoy doing?
That’s hard, because I spend a lot of time training every day — on the boards, in the gym, and on the ice track! When there are a few spare moments, I love to explore maps and the world — I am a bit of a geography nerd, and google earth is my favorite online tool, plus I love to travel and see new places, meet new people, and experience new things… which I can then share with my friends via Snapchat.
Evan is a Sophomore at Phoenix Country Day School