Going For Gold

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Jun 10, 2009 at 5:20 PM EST

Some Special Olympians will do some heavy lifting in hopes of hoisting Gold this weekend.

The New York State Summer Games are back in Greater Binghamton this weekend.

Action News reporter Samantha Augeri shows us some powerful competition.

Six local athletes will tighten their grips and press their luck.

They're training to win gold medals in powerlifting during the Special Olympics State Summer Games.

Coach David Laszewski says his team has excelled through the years.

"I don't want to brag but we have a premier power lifting club in New York I think," said Powerlifting Coach David Laszewski.

Powerlifting in the Games consists of two events...

Bench press and dead lift.

For Dave, the bench press is no big deal.

"I can bench about 150 pounds for the bench press and the dead lift anywhere from 275 pounds and no big deal for me," said Dave Bonkiewicz of Vestal.

Powerlifting has always been the sport of choice for these guys.

"I love to get strong and lift more and do better each competition. I try to win gold medals every year and break my personal best," said Tony Iovine of Johnson City.

"I just like doing it, it just makes me feel good, actually it feels good to be doing something," said Joe Jaycox of Port Dickinson.

During practice they try different exercises in benching and hand grips.

This kind of work requires a lot of determination.

Some of these athletes are so dedicated that they haven't missed a practice in years.

"Fortunately this year I have six very dedicated power lifters and they're extremely focused. They do whatever we ask of them because they want to do better. They want to excel and surpass their best lifts," said Laszewski.

Every Tuesday pound after pound is added to the bar as these athletes strive to collect more gold medals.

"I do my best and let God do the rest," said Mark Wilard of Berkshire.

In Johnson City, Samantha Augeri, WBNG-TV Action News.

Opening Ceremonies for the New York Special Olympic Summer Games are Friday at Binghamton University.

Games run all day Saturday.

If you would like to volunteer to help out or cheer on the athletes, go to this website specialolympicsny.org or email volunteer at nyso.org.

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