Senior powerlifter wins big at Russian meet

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A Polk County senior just got worldwide acclaim for her powerlifting ability.

Yvette Fox won two gold medals and may have broken world records at a powerlifting championship in Moscow earlier this month.

We asked Fox if, at the outset, she thought she could pull off a win.

“Why would I go if I didn’t think I was going to pull this off? ” Fox answered with a smile, but admits, “It’s surreal.”

A lot of people where she trains at Crossfit Devastation in Winter Haven, affectionately known as her Fit Family, were rooting her on every step of the way.

“I knew she was going to do incredibly,” said her 24-year-old trainer, Ryan Peardon.

It was a long, hard road for Fox to get to this point in her life. In her younger years, she came down with an undiagnosed autoimmune disease. She also had a severe back injury which kept her from working out rigorously and regularly.

After being out of the gym for eight years, her body healed and she began to work toward becoming a world-class athlete.

Even though she was ready, Fox almost missed the once in a lifetime opportunity to compete in Russia.

It came down to money.

“I said, 'You have to go. Absolutely,'” said her fellow Crossfitter, Marvin Villard. “She said, 'I’m not sure that I can afford it.'”

"Don’t worry about it,” Villard told her. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll pay your entry fee. You gotta go.”

With the emotional and financial support of her friends and family, Fox went to the meet and brought home two gold medals. She was also recognized being the most outstanding lifter in her category, pound-for-pound.

He wins are made sweeter considering a few things were working against her.

“No sleep and a cold kinda hampered things a little bit,” she said. “A little bit, but not too much.”

Now that she is back in Polk County, she wanted to continue the intense training so she could compete in another competition next month.

Fox’s trainer says she has to allow her body to rest, something it is definitely not used to doing.