The biggest bench of the day

Sunday, July 22, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 9:04 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008
Ovalta Bell benches 510 lbs to win his class at the power lifting competition. This was the most benched during the entire competition at the Show-Me State Games on July 21, 2007.

The biggest bench of the day belonged to Ovalta Bell of Louisiana, Mo. Bell put up 510 pounds. He credits that weight to his five days a week of training at Pike County YMCA. Bell said that he could bench 530 pounds when the rules didn’t require a pause between lowering and lifting the weight. However he was still glad his performance resulted with a gold metal and a competition highlight.

“I’m happy because, it’s a personal best for me at the Show-Me-State Games in this type of pause format,” Bell said.


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Gil Bulter, 66, of Moscow Mills, Mo. also goes by “Papa Pump” a nickname his grand children came up with.

Butler started weight training in February after he retired from Ameren UE as a “trouble man,” a position where he would be called out to a power outage and investage possible causes before ordering repairs.

“To do that work you’ve got to keep in pretty good shape,” Butler said.

On Saturday, he won gold in his bench press bracket, maxing out at 220 pounds.

Butler’s daughter, Shelly Braungard, who looked on with other family members, isn’t concerned with her father’s new hobby.

“He works out faithfully every day,” Braungard said. “Plus he’s retired, so it occupies his time.”

Butler’s training partner Dave Quevreaux, 75, keeps him young in the weight room. In the deadlift session he won his second gold, lifting 255 pounds, breaking the old event record.

“Not bad for a 75 year-old man,” Quevreaux said.

On top of all his accomplishments, he has overcome two heart bypasses and two arthroscopic knee surgeries.

“It (lifting) really gets in your blood,” Quevreaux said. “I feel so good every time I work out. Especially when I get done.”

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