Tony Tomra's name can be spotted in powerlifting record books. He's competed against the world's best in squat, bench press and deadlift. Now, he's joining more elite company as an inductee into the Prince George Sports Hall of Fame.
News that he'd been selected for the Hall took Tomra by surprise. "You don't think of yourself that way," he said. "You compete and you do your own thing, and it's the life I lead. It's very surprising that other people take interest."
One of three individuals inducted as an athlete for the years 2008 and 2009, Tomra receives the recognition for his achievements, which included setting world records in squat and bench records at the international level.
The past decade has been filled with various individual achievements for Tomra. Not even two years ago, the 47-year-old Prince George native set a world record in the bench press by pushing 247.5 kilograms in the 100kg weight class. Tomra also set records in the 90kg class in 2007, with a squat lift of 322.5 kilograms and bench press of 235 kilograms.
The climax of his powerlifting career may have been the 2006 World Powerlifting Championships in Lake George, New York. Tomra took the distinction as the best on the planet in his age and weight category as he set personal records in the combined squat, deadlift and bench press to capture the 40- to 44-year-old division. To win, he squatted 330 kilograms, benched 242.5 kilograms and deadlifted 267 kilograms.
Tomra worked for Canfor's Prince George Sawmill, but left the occupation to begin a three-year program in Vernon to become a registered massage therapist.
A former bodybuilder who began powerlifting in 2001, Tomra continues to offer other individuals tips on his sport and healthy living.