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Colorado Special Olympic athlete gains more than just gold

Posted at 2:10 PM, May 29, 2016
and last updated 2019-04-14 09:28:43-04
"Okay, pretty boy!" 
 
That's Jeremy Wade's power-lifting battle cry. It also appears to be a term of endearment for his long-time coach Jesse Branham. "He makes it really light, said Branham. I think he makes it really refreshing for everybody here."
 
The duo has been together for nearly a decade, and during that span, both have gone unbeaten in competition.
 
Wade, 31 is shaping his body for the Colorado Special Olympic State games in Grand Junction taking place on June 10 through June 12.
 
He weighs only 160 pounds, but lifts nearly double that amount. "Yeah," said Wade, who squats 325 pounds, deadlifts 360 pounds, and bench presses 245 pounds, all to optimize his max output during competition. "I am putting up a lot so [I'm] hoping to get big," said Wade. 
 
He and Coach Jesse Branham train at his small nameless gym in Centennial that is just getting off the ground.
 
Though the Special Olympics have been a launch pad for Wade's power-lifting career, his coach hopes in the future they can cross over into more mainstream competitions.
 
"We're really looking at trying to get some invites to some really big tournaments and getting some exposure that way," said Branham. "I honestly think pound-for-pound, he's probably one of the strongest Special Olympic athlete out there. His numbers are comparable to even first to fifth year lifters at his weight class," added Branham.
 
Competition gets expensive, and everything has been out of pocket for this duo. If you'd like to help offset some of their financial burden contact me on Facebook.

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