Star powerlifter Jesus Olivares' road to greatness starts with family

World champion powerlifter Jesus Olivares’ road to greatness starts with family

Some do it for the fame. Others do it for the prize money, or the glory. For Jesus Olivares, it’s about honoring family.

An Odessa native and graduate of Permian High, Olivares is a two-time world powerlifting champion who is set to compete in the Sheffield 2023 Powerlifting Championships in the U.K. on March 25-26.

“Going into my first nationals, I almost pulled out because my mom was very ill,” Olivares said in a recent hype video released by SBD Apparel, sponsor of the Sheffield competition. “I was under the impression she could have passed at any minute.”

Olivares asked himself whether he should head home to be with his mom at the hospital, or compete.

“You’ve got to finish what you are doing,” Olivares decided. “That’s what she instilled in me.”

Last year, Olivares said injury and some questionable calls by judges threatened to sour his performance at IPF Worlds 2022 in South Africa. Once again, he faced a conflicting flurry of emotions.

“On my third squat, it went from bad to worse,” he said, “I was thinking man, should I even continue? What is the risk-to-reward ratio? If I continue, am I going to get hurt worse? But that is when your spirit as an athlete shines the most….you actually get to see the character of the person.”

Olivares fought through the obstacles and managed to defend his world title at the IPF Worlds 2022. While he did not garner enough total points at worlds to outright qualify for Sheffield, he received a wildcard invitation to the competition, which is a showcase of champions vying for one of the biggest prizes in powerlifting.

“I need to prove that I earned my invitation,” Olivares said. “There’s no doubt in my mind there’s more that can be done. I can do way more. I’m definitely going to come fighting for keeps, because I have plans, I have ambitions, I have dreams with the people I love.”

Oliveras said his family plans on traveling to the Sheffield competition, including his mother.

“Just knowing she is in a good enough position to potentially travel to Sheffield, and having the opportunity to have her in the stands…I’m not going to lose,” Olivares said.

People wanting the prize money, the glory and fame, go for it, but that’s not for Olivares. He wants to make his mom proud, and to honor all others who’ve supported him.

“I think the vision I have for myself, is to be surrounded by the people that I love, the people I also do this for,” Olivares said. “My accolades and accomplishments are a reflection on the impact they’ve had on my life.”