Mitch Blackburn, USA

“I have no GS hero in particular because in general, the people I look up to are the athletes starting from scratch. In a joking sense, I was raised into this sport. I have a great coach (my dad, Ken Blackburn) and all the necessary tools simply handed to me right from the get-go. I didn’t have to decide to make the change, or buy a gym membership, or find a coach. So the guy/girl who shows up to a competition alone with zero ties to anyone, and gives a max effort all on their own, will always be someone I respect.”

Amanda Wegner, USA

“I really, really, really hope that we can get over our personal differences soon and just compete together at the World Championships under one flag. I don’t think that the best of the best that our country has were truly represented last year. Having our best out there will make the world stand up and take us seriously, and it will certainly bring more attention to the sport.”

Saved by the Kettlebell

Life throws curve balls at everyone at some point, sometimes one after another. That’s what happened to me beginning 2006: my mother passed away suddenly; three years later my brother died of an accident. I constantly felt overwhelmed with a stressful social service job, as I struggled to carve out a more hopeful future. In…