The New York State Strength and Power Hall of Fame is proud to welcome 2018 inductee, Eric LeBlanc. As a child, Eric was small enough to be nicknamed “little LeBlanc,” but you wouldn’t believe it if you were to see him today. As a drug-free powerlifter, Eric has set numerous state, national, and world records and is well known for his car lifts while advertising for a company in Syracuse, NY. However, that is not what Eric wants people to remember at the first mention of his name. Becoming a “hall of famer” was a process that took place over years of personal struggles and sacrifice.
Like most young men, Eric was fascinated by strength, and was especially impressed with Russia’s Vasily Alexeev and perhaps the greatest strongman ever, Paul Anderson. Opportunity came its way when Eric was approached by his powerlifting landlord, Bob Collins. Bob offered to train Eric, and a career was born. Strength ran in Eric’s family too. His grandfather, Ben Clarke, was a famous cricket player who was also well known for his power. Unfortunately, Mr. Clarke, due to an extreme auto-immune disorder, was confined to a wheelchair and became depended upon Eric for help. At times, situations dictated that Eric literally pick up his grandfather and carry him to where he needed to be. Additionally, Eric’s mother suffered from the same disabling disease. As fortune would have it, powerlifting provided a way to ease the pain of watching people close to him suffer.
If viewed the right way, adversity is an effective tool for the development of character and inner strength and Eric has chosen to see his challenges as such. As Eric recalls, the first time that he truly felt racially equal was while competing at a powerlifting meet in Connecticut where he bench pressed 370 pounds. In fact, he still has the posters that his mother had made for him. Due to her condition, it was the only meet she was ever able to attend. Still and somehow, she captured a photo of Eric celebrating his big bench with a giant leap into the air. Fortunate for all, weightlifting, powerlifting, and strength sports, in general, have always had a history of equality and a code of fair play. Long before the civil rights movement of the 1960s, athletes of all colors, creeds, and races were welcomed to join the fraternity of strength and power and that is one of the many things that makes our community special. But that doesn’t negate the injustices of the outside world, and Eric has had to deal with those too. Once again, however, he rose to those occasions successfully and perhaps that is what Eric wants to be known for when his name is mentioned; the ability to overcome.
Eric thanks God above for the strength that he has and continues to set an example for all to follow. Eric also thanks to the powerlifting and strength community for its fraternity, camaraderie, and brotherhood. Congratulations to 2018 Hall of Fame inductee, Eric LeBlanc!
Author: By Strength and Power Hall of Fame | Created: Mon Feb 15 18:24:54 UTC 2021 | Last Updated: Sun Jul 04 16:39:29 UTC 2021