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Caroline Tangitau Sweeps Silver in Powerlifting

Young woman, Caroline Tangitau deadlifting.
Special Olympics New Zealand athlete Caroline Tangitau successfully lifts her third deadlift at the women’s powerlifting deadlift competition held at the Messe Berlin on 21 June 2023 during the Special Olympics World Games Berlin.

Caroline Tangitau traveled more than 11,027 miles/17,500 km from New Zealand to Germany to participate in the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 in women’s powerlifting. These are not her first Games. She also participated as a swimmer in the 1999 World Games in North Carolina, USA.

Switching sports and competing on a global level are no small feats. To earn a spot on the Special Olympics New Zealand team at the 2023 Games, Tangitau put in three days of powerlifting training a week with her coach and continued with other fitness routines on her own at home. Her hard work paid dividends. She earned silver in all of the disciplines in which she competed—which means she won a silver medal for the combined scores as well.

  • Her best lift in the squat was 82.5kg
  • Her best lift in the deadlift was 105kg
  • Her best lift in the bench was 30kg

Each time Tangitau stepped on the podium to receive her medals, she felt excited and proud. But she says the results came as no surprise: “I did think I could win a medal. I have been training hard.” She credits her coach for helping sweep silver. “My coach always tells me to be big and be strong.”

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