Dec 15, 2016

Maringá, Brazil

Three-time weightlifting world champion becomes an Adventist decades after first contact with the Church

Enio shows a trophy he won in the last world championship [photo credit: North Parana Conference]

Three-time Supine Weightlifting World Champion Enio Amarai, 48, has been training since he was 14 years old. To win the Supine Weightlifting World Championship three times is not easy, says Enio Amaral, won the championship in the 125kg or 275lbs-category in 2007, 2009, and 2016, in addition to placing second in 2013.  His personal record is lifting up to 302kg or 665lbs.

“I was a very skinny boy and wanted to be strong. I started training at home, with cement weights,” says Amarai. “I participated in weightlifting championships, winning first place in my first championship, and then I started participating in regional, state, national championships until I reached the world championships.”

In the 34 years he’s been lifting weights, Amarai suffered many injuries and faced problems such as diabetes, which took him out of competitions for five years. “In order to lift a big amount of weight, I need to ingest a lot of carbs, a source of energy. And carbs transform to glucose. That is why my training became very difficult. I have always to be taking care of myself,” Amarai explains.

The athlete lives in Maringá, in the north region of the state of Paraná, Brazil, where he has a gym at home to continue training and train other people. In his gym, he has trained six people who have gone to become world champions in different categories.

When he was four years old, Amarai had his first contact with the Seventh-day Adventist Church through his uncles. “We spent years away because my family was not Adventist, only my uncles, but the desire to become an Adventist always lingered in my mind,” he recalls. Amarai also attended an Adventist school for a year.

In 2014, a member of the Adventist Church started going to his gym and invited Amarai to go to church. The invitation was immediately accepted. “I missed the Adventist ‘environment’. It was what I wanted for myself,” he concludes.

After doing Bible studies and attending church services, Amarai was baptized on December 3, at the Guaiapós Adventist Church, in Maringá. Afterwards he said, “I am having the opportunity to start again. Up to this point I exercised the physical, the muscles, and now I need to exercise my faith.” 

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