Senior Emma Hampton Qualifies for World Powerlifting Championship


At USA Powerlifting Raw Nationals in Chicago, Hampton squatted 127.5 kilograms (281 pounds) and achieved second in her division.

Aiden Petrofsky, Podcast Personality

After participating in several powerlifting competitions for the past year-and-a-half, including Missouri State Championships and USA Powerlifting Raw Nationals, senior Emma Hampton earned a spot on the USA National Team for the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) World Powerlifting Championship, located in Minsk, Belarus at the beginning of June. The IPF is recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

“I think [this opportunity] is amazing. I have never known anybody who has competed internationally that has been my personal student, or somebody that I’ve coached. I’ve had other kids who have done things that are great in other sports, but none that I’ve been personally connected with, so I think it’s fabulous,” said Dawn Newport, who was Hampton’s  swim coach.

Hampton received this opportunity due to her position of being one of the top powerlifters in the nation. 

“I received an email from the team USA coach for the sub-junior/junior team. Initially, I was ranked as the first alternate. The team has eight girls on it, so basically I was the ninth best sub-junior lifter in the US. Then a spot opened so I was next in line to take it,” said Hampton.

Newport and those who know Hampton are not surprised by this achievement.

When she tries to do something, she puts her full effort into it. In powerlifting, that’s obviously what she’s done as well. Even [when she was on the swim team] she knew that powerlifting was the thing that she wanted to do more than anything else,” said Newport.

Because it is a world-class competition, the scale is larger and the competition itself is farther away than ever before.

“I’ve competed at state and national level meets, but this is the biggest competition which makes me pretty nervous. It’s going to be a completely different experience because of the time difference and travel. I am nervous, but I am also very excited,” said Hampton.

Each powerlifting competition has three lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift, each of which Hampton will compete in at her upcoming competition.

“My best event is probably squat, but my favorite is deadlift because it is the last event. [This means] you know where you are placed and what you have to do. You can leave everything on the platform and it’s so exciting. The crowd always gets super into deadlifts too,” said Hampton. 

Hampton hopes to have both of her parents go with her, provided that she and her family raise a sufficient amount of money to do so.

“I will, for sure, have one of my parents go with me. We are hoping to raise enough money to afford to have both my parents come,” said Hampton.

In order to gain these funds that will allow both of her parents to come and support her, as well as provide for many other aspects of her trip, Hampton has created a GoFundMe page with a goal of raising $7,500. After seven days, she has already raised $1,205, all donated by teachers, friends and family. 

“It is the athlete’s responsibility to pay for travel, lodging, food, competition fees, and our uniform. This makes it a very expensive trip, so I knew I needed to rely on my support systems. The donations mean more than I could ever explain. This competition is a dream come true and to have so many people helping me get there is so amazing. I am beyond grateful for everyone who is supporting me,” said Hampton.