Featured Athlete: Nelly Chimal-Hernandez

Grade: 12 | Sport: Powerlifting


Juleanna Marie Culilap

Despite the difficulty of getting the technique down, senior Nelly Chimal-Hernandez enjoys competing in powerlifting with her friends and teammates.

Wingspan : What inspired you to start powerlifting?

Chimal-Hernandez: “I started powerlifting because my softball coach told me there was a powerlifting team after seeing me lift a lot during our maxing day. I truly began considering it when my mom told me ‘you’ll never know until you try’, so naturally I did that and ended up loving it.”

Wingspan: What keeps you motivated to stay in the sport?

Chimal-Hernandez: “What motivated me to stay in powerlifting is the fact I wanted to get stronger, but also because the rest of the girls that joined made it really fun to practice and compete.”

Wingspan: What is the most difficult thing about powerlifting?

Chimal-Hernandez: “The most difficult thing about powerlifting is getting the technique down. There are three judges that judge every single lift and if you mess up your technique the lift doesn’t count.”

Wingspan: What is the biggest benefit if being in the sport?

Chimal-Hernandez: “The biggest benefit of being in the sport is the fact that it is a very competitive sport that allows you to break through your limits, but despite the competition you always get pushed to do your best by the girls from your team and from other schools.”

Wingspan: What’s it like being on the team?

Chimal-Hernandez: “At first it was a little scary because the girls I convinced to join and I were going to be the first female powerlifters Liberty has had and also because I had no real exposure into the powerlifting world. Although, the initial little shock was worth it after I found it fun and got to know the other people on the team who are really funny and encouraging.”

Wingspan: What motivates you before a competition?

Chimal-Hernandez: “Honestly, just trying to beat the girl ahead of me. Also, my team and coaches help me get pumped and in the zone to get the lift.”

Wingspan: What is your pre-game ritual?

Chimal-Hernandez: “I usually just jam out to music, stretch a little, and lift light.”