Jamestown native Abigail Olson sets state records at USPA ND Open

Olson was one of 60 competitors in the event.

Abigail Olson
Powerlifter Abigail Olson prepares to squat 352.7 pounds during the USPA North Dakota Open at Courts Plus Community Fitness in Fargo, on Sunday, Oct. 3.
Contributed/ Abigail Olson
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JAMESTOWN — Less than a year after beginning her powerlifting career, Abigail Olson is already setting records.

Olson first got into powerlifting after joining Evolution Fitness and speaking with owner and coach Justin Mickels and fellow patron Lilly Anderson.

“Everybody was really welcoming and then I met with Justin and Lily and they really talked to me about powerlifting and said that I could have a really good future with it,” Olson said.

Olson made her competitive debut in the United States Powerlifting Association’s North Dakota Open on Oct. 2 in Fargo and set two state records and a personal best. Olson was able to squat 352.7 pounds and bench 196.4 pounds for the two state records. Her personal record came in the deadlift category as she was able to lift 369 pounds. Her performance helped get her a weightlifting belt and $1,000.

As she was preparing to compete, Olson was thinking about staying calm.


“Mostly, I was telling myself to keep your cool,” Olson said. “I’ve done this numerous times before in training. The only difference is that it was just going to be judged this time and honestly I was just saying to myself, ‘Do the best you can. You’ve been preparing for 10 months, so let it be and let G-d take you away.’”

In preparation for the competition, Olson said she went to the gym between four and five times a week for at least three hours a day. During her training, Olson admits she had to fight through self-doubt to succeed at the competition. Once she got to the competition, though, Olson said she was hyping herself up and making sure she truly believed that she could succeed.

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Over her 10 months of lifting, Olson said she has improved tremendously at squatting and the bench press.

“I would say that beginning I could barely even squat 135, bench was really hard and everything was just really difficult for me at the beginning,” Olson said. “But once I started to learn the biomechanics of everything and listen to what my coach was saying and take the sport for what it is and turn it into how I could do it, I flew off right away.”

Olson said her favorite part of powerlifting is the friends that she has made through the sport.

“Honestly, right away when I walked into Evolution Fitness and met everybody that was in powerlifting, I instantly felt accepted by them and the support and constant reassurance and having them push you too is amazing,” Olson said.

Despite being only 23 years old, Olson’s advice to young girls wanting to get into the sport is to just do it.

“There’s never going to be the perfect time,” Olson said. “If you wait for the day you’re finally ready it’ll never happen so take the opportunity now and run with it.”


Despite the success, Olson is not looking to jump back into a competition anytime soon.

“I’m gonna take a long off-season to grow and really get my numbers better,” Olson said. “As crazy as a 917 total is for your first meet, I’m already wanting to be better and aim better. I’m thinking that I’m gonna take a year off and have a really good training block with my coach. We’re going to push the boundaries a little bit more on everything and I’m definitely going to compete next year in the North Dakota Open and then might do a bigger meet after that.”

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My name is Max O'Neill. I am a Sports Reporter at The Jamestown Sun. I am a native New Yorker, who graduated from Ithaca College in 2020 with a degree in Television-Radio.
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