Lifting above the pain

Nikky Swanson in action.

By Liam Emerton

Three years ago Nikky Swanson was suffering from back pain with compound fractures in three vertebrates but in 2021, Swanson is a masters weightlifting star.

Given the choice between endone or surgery, Swanson believed there had to be another solution to the pain, and that’s where her journey towards Olympic lifting started.

Three years on Swanson, who is a proud mother of two and a loving grandmother of two, has won gold in the Queensland Masters WeightliftingChampionships and Silver in the world championships as well as the Commonwealth Masters in 2019.

“After I sorted my back out and everything, all it did was produce no pain and give me strength,” said Swanson.

“From there I was doing pretty good and I thought I’d start doing competition.

“It was a fantastic achievement in only three years to compete in the world championships.

“I was a bit apprehensive about doing that one in May because I had just had abdominal surgery in February.

“I thought, will I do it, won’t I do it. But I got a silver medal in that event. That was done over zoom with judges watching me in my garage, which was really weird.

“And we’ve just had the Queensland championships down at Bribie Island where I won gold.

“Prior to that, I had a silver medal in the commonwealth in 2019.”

Swanson is encouraging others to get involved in the sport which has completely changed her life for the better.

Swanson has developed lifelong friendships in the sport with people from across Australia.

“It is an individual sport but when you’re representing Queensland it’s a team and Australia, the team spirit is there,” said Swanson.

“Even if you’re in a club competition everyone cheers everyone on, even if you are up against them.

“So it’s a wonderful sport for that and a wonderful sport for the fact that we’re looking after ourselves.

“I’m 50 years old and I’m doing something good for myself physically and mentally.”

Eyeing off her next goal Swanson said she will be heading to Cairns in September to compete in the Commonwealth, Oceania and Australian championships.

Swanson has already begun her 12-week program and is excited to travel to the city in hopes of chasing even more success in 2021.

Training for two hours a day, every second day, Swanson is building towards a friendly rivalry where she hopes to one-up a New South Welshman.

“I can’t wait. I’m looking forward to competing. One of the New South Wales lifters has beaten me twice in the Australian championships but I beat her in the World championships.

“I want to beat her in the Australian. That’s my goal, if it happens, it happens.

“It gives me something to strive for in my training.

“It’s 100 per cent self-motivation, especially the fact that I train by myself at home, in my own gym, with my own equipment.

“I know it’s just outside that door but you have to get dressed, put music on and make yourself get out there.”

Swanson called for others to get involved in the sport to help promote it in regional Queensland and hopefully eventually create a club for weightlifting here in Central Queensland.