April 11, 2024

Remembering Liz Freel: A Tribute to a Powerlifting Legend

On April 6, 2024, the powerlifting community lost a true pioneer and a beacon of hope, Liz Freel, after her valiant battle with cancer. 

Liz was not just a legend in the sport; she was a mentor, a friend, and a guiding light for countless individuals. Her legacy, deeply interwoven with the fabric of the USPA, continues to inspire and empower.

Liz’s journey in powerlifting was more than just about setting records or winning titles; it was about building a community—a family united by the love for the sport.

She believed in the transformative energy of powerlifting, asserting, “It’s much more than competing, it’s a lifestyle, we’re all family. If you can get someone off the street, and show them a different way of life, you’ve saved a life.” 

Watch Liz Freel share her passion and vision for powerlifting in her own words.

An advocate for the purity and honesty of powerlifting, Liz often remarked, “Powerlifting is the only thing that is truly honest, it gives back what you put into it. Everything else can be tampered with and judged upon, but not in this sport. The bar doesn’t lie to you, you can either do it or you can’t.” 

This philosophy underpinned her approach to both life and coaching, emphasizing integrity, hard work, and the raw truth of effort and reward.

Liz’s contributions extended far beyond the platform. As the founder of the USPA Powerlifting Foundation (USPAPF), a non-profit organization, she dedicated herself to helping lifters in need, providing them with the support and resources to change their lives through the sport she loved. Her unwavering commitment to empowering others earned her a place in the USPA Hall of Fame, not only as a lifter but as a coach who touched the lives of many.

Steve Denison, USPA President and a close friend, shared his memories of Liz, highlighting her resilience, generosity, and the profound impact she had on those around her. 

“She was an angel in our midst. Her genuine spirit made everyone feel valued and appreciated,” he reflected. 

As a fitting tribute to Liz’s remarkable life and contributions, we are honored to announce the Liz Freel Classic, to be held on April 20, 2024 at Metroflex Gym in Hawaiian Gardens, California. This event will not only celebrate Liz’s legacy in the sport of powerlifting but also gather our community in remembrance of a life so beautifully lived. Following the competition, a memorial service will be held to commemorate Liz’s life, allowing friends, family, and admirers to share their memories and honor her impact.

As we mourn the loss of Liz Freel, we also celebrate her extraordinary life and the indelible marks she left on our hearts and our sport. Her legacy will continue to shine brightly through the USPAPF, through every lifter she inspired, and through the community she helped build.

May she rest in power, and may her legacy lift us all.


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