2017 Hall of Fame Inductee - Jennifer Rey Gaudreau

Jennifer Rey Gaudreau

  West Monroe, Louisiana

High school:   West Monroe High School

College: Louisiana Tech University

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How did you get started:   My senior year in high school my parents bought me a temporary
membership to the local gym for Christmas. My mom thought I was going to take aerobics classes and look at cute guys. I had a trainer, Bubba Jones that powerlifted and he showed me how to lift the right way. A few guys from school that were on the WMHS PL team and I were talking about where we were going to college. When I told them Tech they said I should try powerlifting, I told them they were crazy. At Freshman Orientation I met a guy named Calvin Dial. He told me he was at Tech for Powerlifting and that peaked my interest. He was headed to meet with Coach Talton and drug me along. Coach Talton invited me to the first workout of the season and I never left.
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First meet:   My very first meet was the 1990 Rookie Meet at Louisiana Tech, it was unsanctioned so we could see how a meet was run. My numbers were (I will get those to you). My first sanctioned meet was in Dallas, Texas just about 1 month after that. I was in awe! If I wasn’t hooked before that, I sure was then. I think it was my first and last meet to wear the bow in my hair that my mom wanted me to wear.

Last meet:   2016 World Masters Bench Press in Rodby, Denmark. (I retired after this one) placed 2nd with 110kgs. My most recent 3 lift meet was in 2014, World Masters Powerlifting in Pilsen, Czech Republic. I finished 2nd Overall. It was an eartbreaking loss as I had the gold medal lift all the way up and lost my grip in my right hand at lock-out

Family:   My husband Dan, our 9 year old son Logan and our 3 dogs

Occupation:   1st Grade Teacher

Gym:   Rocky Mountain Lifting Club, a strength training gym we own in Aurora, Colorado

Your best meet ever:   Let’s just talk about the years 2009-2010. In May of 2009 I was diagnosed with cervical cancer, I was scheduled to compete at the World Bench Press in Luxembourg just 3 weeks after being diagnosed. I did what anyone would do, I went and had surgery 2 days after I got back. On July 1, I began treatment, chemotherapy and radiation together. I trained as much as I could through it all. As treatment was coming to an end Dan suggested I lift at BP nationals since I was going to be there helping him, and so I did. My goal was to BP 90kgs and I did it. I then began training for the Arnold Sports Festival, it would be my first full meet back. I didn’t put up any great numbers but it was a solid meet. After that I began training for Women’s Nationals in May. Just one year after being diagnosed and I won my first Women’s Open Nationals in 10 years. I had the meet of my life and I secured a spot on the National Team to compete in Potchefstroom, South Africa that November. I finished my highest placing at an Open World Championships, 5th place overall. It was quite a ride for 18 months.

How did powerlifting help shape you as an adult:  My husband and my son, without powerlifting I would not have them. Powerlifting has given me the opportunity to travel the world. My closest friends are those that I have met in the sport. Advice for your lifters? Find a coach, someone that has experience in the sport and listen to them. Technique comes before anything else. Volunteer at a meet, you will learn more by working at a meet than any other way. Become a referee and give back to the sport.

Countries / Places you've  visited because of powerlifting:
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Mo i Rana, Norway
  • Miskolc, Hungary
  • Hamm, Luxmbourg
  • Soelden, Austria
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Potchesfstroom, South Africa
  • Pilsen, Czech Republic
  • Rodby, Denmark

Anyone that you would like to thank:  Where do I begin? There have been so many amazing people on this 26 year adventure.
First, my husband. He helped me become a better lifter, coach and referee. He pushes me to be my best in all that I do. He supports me in every endeavor.
My parents have supported me from the beginning. Buying me the best gear and sending me traipsing around the world with quite the motley crew at just 20 years old so I could pursue my dreams. My mom is always the first one I call or text after weigh-in, during warm-up and after lifting. She has learned the sport because I love it. Titan Support Systems: Pete Alaniz has sponsored me since I was just a young kid in college.
My very first training partners: Jeff Douglas and Wade Hooper. I love you two to pieces!
My Louisiana Tech family...how bout them Iron Dawgs! Coach Billy Jack Talton. Thank you for taking me under your wing. Because of you my passion for the sport is unwavering. You have become so much more than a coach, you are family.
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