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Northern Ont. town rallies to help woman defend her strongest adaptive woman title

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Residents in Markstay-Warren are pulling together to help Kari Thibeault defend her title as the world’s strongest adaptive woman.

On Saturday, there’s going to be a friendly strongman versus Markstay-Warren firefighters competition at the Warren Arena.

Organizers met Thursday morning to solidify the details for the competition. Thibeault said she looks towards defending her world title.

“I have a lot of friends and family coming and I’m extremely humbled because all of these people are here for me,” Thibeault said.

She is the reigning world's strongest adaptive woman, which she won in Orlando, Fla., last year.

The 50-year-old has been living with MS since 2002.

She holds two defending titles in the Static World Championships competition. The fundraiser aims to raise enough money to send her to Calgary at the end of July to defend them.

Residents in Markstay-Warren are pulling together to help Kari Thibeault defend her title as the world’s strongest adaptive woman. (Eric Taschner/CTV News)

“She has one for the 18-inch deadlift and one for log,” said Emmanuel Poitras, Kari’s partner and personal trainer.

“So she’ll be going there to defend her titles and to increase her world records.”

After that, Thibeault gaze then turns to England for the Magnus Ver Magnusson Adaptive Strength World Championship in early November, where her strongest adaptive woman title is up for grabs.

“I’m extremely excited but I’m nervous,” she said.

'I'm not willing to give it up'

“I have a lot of people that want my title but I’m not willing to give it up.”

Growing Communities Fundraiser is leading the charge to get her there, along with the local fire department.

“She’s an inspiration to so many and to be able to say we have the world’s strongest adaptive athlete living in Warren is just phenomenal,” said fundraiser president Laura Schell.

On Saturday, professional strongman competitors will face off against the firefighters in a 60,000-pound fire truck pull fundraiser at the arena.

“It’s a pretty big truck to be pulling so it’s a little intimidating,” Poitras laughed.

“We’re not worried,” joked Markstay-Warren firefighter Lieutenant Scott Simon.

“Those guys are more scared than we are.”

There will be an obstacle course, a strongman demonstration and community tug of war.

It’s all to help Thibeault, who’s not ready to loosen her grip on her titles anytime soon.

“Strongman has brought me back to life,” she said. 

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