Hannah Kaminski

2020 Pan American Championships

Q1: What was the first competition where you represented Team Canada? When was it?

I first represented Canada as a 55kg lifters at the 2019 Pan Am Championships in Guatemala

Q2: Did you compete in other sports before weightlifting? If yes, which ones and at what level?

Growing up I was involved in dance and tumbling (which you would never guess based on my total lack of coordination). I performed in the Grandstand Show at the Calgary Stampede all throughout elementary school before realizing show girl life wasn’t for me. I made the switch to wrestling at age 12 (a natural transition, LOL) and found my first love. I wrestled nationally with the hopes of one day going to the Olympics, until tearing my rotator cuff in my first varsity year.

Q3: Why do you compete in weightlifting?

Competition invokes a lot of fear in me. I’ve always wished I was a natural born competitor who thrives in a competition setting, but truthfully it’s something I’ve worked really hard to learn to love. I compete in weightlifting to face my fears. The bigger the stage, the bigger the challenge is to rise to the occasion. It teaches me a lot about myself, and allows me to push past what I think I’m capable of.

Q4: What do you most enjoy about training?

Training has provided me a place to feel strong when I’ve gone through heartbreak and hard times. It‘s a constant that I can always count on. No matter what season of my life I’m in, I can always count on the barbell.

Q5: What do you enjoy the least about training?

That training doesn’t always yield the results you are after, sometimes no matter how hard you train you still fall short of your goals, and you have to be proud of your training regardless of the results.

Q6: What are your short term goals for weightlifting (1-2 years)?

I want to compete in all the necessary Olympic qualifications leading up to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Q7: What are your long term goals for weightlifting? (3 + years)

To compete at the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Australia. I first found weightlifting while living abroad in Melbourne, and I think it would be a really special experience to start and finish my weightlifting career in the same place.

Q8: What has been your proudest moment in weightlifting?

My third attempt clean and jerk at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. It was 7kg higher than  a bar I had ever attempted at that body weight and I did it!

Q9: What are your top 3 achievements in weightlifting so far?

Number 1. Bronze medal at the 2022 commonwealth games

Number 2. Bronze medal at the 2020 San Diego international open

Number 3. Making it back onto Team Canada after tearing my hip labrum and being told my weightlifting career is over.

Q10: Are you currently studying or working in addition to your weightlifting career? If yes, what are you doing?

I am a nursing student, but I’ve had to put my student life on hold since moving to Montreal to work with my coach.

Q11: What are your plans after your weightlifting career is over? 

Aside from having a career in an area I can help people, and (hopefully) having a family, I want to coach. I’ve gotten to enjoy being an athlete my whole life, which is a pretty selfish existence. I’d like to give back, as well as help other people (especially young girls) break the glass ceilings they have created for themselves

Q12: Who is your weightlifting role model and why?

There are several people I have looked up to for different reasons throughout my weightlifting career. Morgan King, the former 49kg from the USA is one that has stayed consistent. I started weightlifting in 2016, the year she went to the Rio Olympics. I remember watching her and being amazed at how strong and little she was! When she started to lose team spots to younger, stronger athletes she did so gracefully and seemed genuinely excited for the sport to be growing and improving, even if that meant she had to sit on the sidelines. Even though she is no longer lifting herself, she still coaches and is involved in the sport.

Coach: Yvan Darsigny

Weight Category: 49kg

Favourite Lift: Jerk

Hometown: Calgary, AB