Elite Ipswich achiever Deborah Acason has competed at two Olympics and five Commonwealth Games. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Elite Ipswich achiever Deborah Acason has competed at two Olympics and five Commonwealth Games. Picture: Cordell Richardson

Physical, mental strength behind Deb’s success

TODAY'S Ipswich achiever Deborah "Lovelace'' Acason (nee Lovely) has done just about everything there is to accomplish in sport.

She shares her well-travelled thoughts.

Sporting achievements: Two Olympics (sixth Beijing 2008, 12th Athens 2004), five Commonwealth Games including 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018 one gold, three silver, a bronze and fourth.

Played rugby union for Queensland and selected for Australia in 2007, track cycling state champ keirin and sprint and fifth in Australia. World youth bronze medallist in discus 1999.

Why you got into weightlifting? To be stronger for my discus, shot put and hammer throw. I was also very intrigued with the sport.

Favourite teammate: Amanda Phillips - 12 years my training partner, also my bridesmaid. She flew to Athens to watch me lift - was my only supporter that could make it to watch me lift. Pushed me in training and cheered and encouraged me with everything she had.

Favourite coach: Mike Keelan long-time weightlifting coach - for 16 years, mentor and now close friend. He always pushed me but knew what to say to get the best out of me. He was very knowledgeable but worked well with me to help me learn about weightlifting but also about determination and life in general. He did all this for no financial gain for himself.

What you love about the sport? I love that weightlifting challenges every ounce of your physical and mental capacity. You have to train extremely hard pushing yourself to the physical limit but your mental strength has to be strong. You have to believe with all your mind and body that you will get the lift on the platform otherwise you will miss it. All eyes are on you when competing. In an individual sport I am the one solely responsible for my performance and I really like that.

Do you follow it today? I follow mostly the girls/women competing as I like seeing how our women are going both in the juniors and the elites. I keep up with local lifters, the ones training at Saints club, which I founded in Miles, and lastly a young very talented lifter I used to train with Leo Lark, who is aiming for the next Commwealth Games.

Sporting hero growing up: I liked watching Michael Jordan and Ronaldo play when I was growing up but also read the stories of Margaret Court, Eric Liddell and other Christian athletes who had strong faith.

What are you up to these days? I'm a wife of almost 12 years to Josh Acason who works for the Smith Family charity. I'm also a mum to three gorgeous strong girls (one of which I am homeschooling) and an aunty to 19 nieces and nephews. I volunteer at church and coach in weightlifting and athletics coaching and for competitions. I also enjoy building decks and doing landscaping in my spare time. If and when all my girls are at school then I will consider working as a lawyer.

Advice to juniors: Do the hard work. Nothing happens unless you are willing to put the time and effort into what you want to achieve. Determination, perseverance and humility are excellent qualities to strive to have.

Quick thoughts

POSITIVES: 1. Ipswich Eagles AFC. They are a closeknit club and this was on display at Monday nights training with many players wearing an MND beanie in support of Lara Boone's mother who is fighting this terrible disease.

2. Boxing: What a huge announcement during the week that Bankwest Stadium in Sydney might get to host Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder Fight three later this year. Boxing fans finally have some good news.

Negatives: 1. Brisbane Broncos. They produced nothing on the field against the Roosters and then showed no respect to their fans by no players showing up to the press conference.

2. Pat Cash: He has been hit too many times with the tennis ball to suggest that Roger Federer is not in the top two of greatest ever tennis players to grace the court. For me he is the Goat.

Sporting birthdays: 1. 1956 - Australian swing bowler Terry Alderman is born in Subiaco.

2. 1957 - Pakistan cricket captain Javed Miandad. He went on to captain his country on 124 time scoring 8832 runs.

3. 1985 - Broncos forward Sam Thaiday is born in Sydney.

4. 1992 - Brazilian striker Philippe Coutinho is born in Rio de Janeiro.

On this day: 1. 1957 - St Louis Cardinals Stan Musial plays his 823rd consecutive game, setting a new MLB record.

2. 1981 - Larry Holmes Tko's Leon Spinks in round three to win the WBC Heavyweight title.

3. 1990 - Carl Ripken Jr plays his 1308th consecutive game to set a new MLB record.

4. 2002 - LA Lakers beat New Jersey Nets 4-0 to win NBA title.