- Associated Press - Friday, August 15, 2014

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - At just shy of 4 feet and 48 pounds, Olive Stevens isn’t what most would consider a strong or intimidating person. Like most girls her age, Olive likes shopping, playing with Barbie dolls and painting her nails - this month with a bright cherry red.

But get this seemingly normal 6-year-old in the gym, and she is a force to be feared.

At the Junior Olympics on July 25 in Des Moines, Iowa, Olive not only took home the gold medal in powerlifting - she also shattered four national and world records in all three lifts (squat, bench and deadlift) and the combined total.

She said she was most proud of her deadlift of 99 pounds - more than double her body weight, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1yk5Kmw ).

Olive has been in the gym since she was about 3 years old, according to her mother and certified fitness trainer, Sarah Stevens.

“My mom lifts with me, so it’s really fun,” Olive said.

“She also likes to show off that she can do more pull-ups than the boys,” her mom joked.

Olive was the only 6-year-old to compete in the Junior Olympics of Powerlifting last month, but she wasn’t the only Topeka lifter to take home gold - or to shatter national and world records.

Thirteen-year-old Logan Brede and 17-year-old Brooke Woodward also won in their respective age groups at the Junior Olympics of Powerlifting. The three represented Topeka’s Strength Guild, and set 11 world and national records in a single day.

Logan and Brooke broke records by about 5 pounds, and the young Olive beat world records by as much as 17 pounds, said her father and head Strength Guild coach, Phil Stevens.

In powerlifting, there is only one gold medal, awarded to the individual who lifted the most combined weight in the squat, bench and dead lifts.

Logan Brede won gold in his age and weight and broke records in the squat, deadlift and combined total. At 121 pounds, Logan lifted almost six times his weight in the competition for a total of 693 pounds. In his fourth deadlift attempt, which doesn’t count toward the competition but does apply for national and world records, Logan lifted 308 pounds - breaking both records, Stevens said.

Logan competed against three others in the 12-13 age group, and took first by a long shot. The second place finisher lifted 555.5 total pounds to Logan’s 693.

Brooke Woodward took home gold in the 16-17 age group, beating second place by 60.5 pounds. She competed against two other girls.

Brooke, who will be a senior at Wamego High School this year, has been lifting for about two years - a sport she became involved with after seeing how much her father enjoyed it. She competes on the high school lifting team, as well as its volleyball and track teams. She lifts about four times a week, each time for at least an hour.

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