Jennifer Banning of Sisters took a silver medal in the World Masters Championships weightlifting tourney in Montreal, Canada, last month.

In a back-and-forth battle with Hawaiian Loretta Kikuchi, Banning briefly held the world records in two lifts in the 50- to 54-year-old 55 kg (121.25-pound class).

The Olympic weightlifting tournament combines the best of each lifter’s totals in two events — the snatch and the clean and jerk. Banning’s 126 kg (277.782 ) total put her in a strong second-place finish behind Kikuchi’s 134 kg (295.42 pounds) total and ahead of the 100 kg (220.462 pounds) bronze medalist.

Banning was able to accomplish a bodyweight snatch of 55 kg — a significant benchmark in Olympic lifting — and a 71 kg (156.53-lb.) clean and jerk.

Banning, who coaches weightlifters in Sisters at Indomita Fitness, has competed for several years, having started Olympic lifting in 2013. She previously recorded a bronze-medal finish at the worlds in Denmark in 2014 in her fourth meet ever. She has achieved “best lifter” and first-place finishes at nationals and in the Pan Am tournament. The Montreal meet was


“I’m pretty proud of this one,” Banning reflected. “I had knee surgery two years ago and at that time thought I’d never lift competitively again — and here I am.”

Banning is passionate about lifting.

“It’s not easy,” she told The Nugget. I love it because — mostly I love it because I love how I feel.”

She says she loves the challenge of applying technique and lifting well. And there’s nothing subjective about achievement in the sport.

“It doesn’t lie,” she said. “You either lift it or you don’t. When you do, it’s pretty exhilarating.”

The sport has expanded over the past couple of decades to include more and more women — and people of an astonishing range of ages.

“I saw 80-year-olds lifting, and I plan to be that 80-year-old someday,” she said.

Banning also thrives on the competitive aspect of the sport.

“Some people like that pressure and tension and it fuels them — or they don’t,” she said.

For everyone, she says, the physical and mental aspects of lifting build “resiliency for everyday life.”

The training regimen for elite-level competition is demanding. Banning trained four times a week.

She noted that the club she lifts for is Drive Barbell Club in Bend, run by Adam Hamilton, who is also her coach.

Banning offers fitness and nutrition coaching through her own Indomita Fitness in Sisters.

“That’s the Italian for fierce and unbeatable,” she said.

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