Science professor seeks to inspire students with powerlifting team

Ryan McFadden, Sports Editor

Jim Micik, a science professor at Iona College, was filled with excitement and determination as he talked to students in the Hynes Gymnasium. However, the conversation was not about molecules or the periodic table. Micik stood in front of students with a plan to bring a powerlifting team on campus.

Micik spent years being a powerlifter on the collegiate and professional level. His experience as a powerlifter made him eager to bring the sport to Iona.

“After competing in powerlifting for many decades and seeing collegiate teams competing, I always thought in the back of my mind that I wanted to start a team at Iona College,” Micik said.

Micik, who was a cross country runner at Central Connecticut College, did not begin his powerlifting career until the powerlifting captain at his school saw him and his brother Dave working out in the gym.

“It all started in college,” Jim Micik said. “I was a cross country runner and one day I was working out with my brother in the gym, and the captain of the powerlifting team said, ‘I want you to join the powerlifting team.’”

The brothers took up that offer and helped Central Connecticut win three state championships. They ended up winning more championships with the Greenwich YMCA.

The Micik brothers spent eight years competing in over 90 competitions throughout Connecticut before retiring. Their accomplishments were recognized in 2014 when they were inducted into the Connecticut Powerlifting Hall of Fame. It was a moment Jim called “absolutely awesome.”

Now years later, Jim is back in the gym trying to inspire Iona students to get into powerlifting with the help of the Iona College Athletic Department.

“When I approached the Athletic Department, they were 100 percent behind my idea. They actually know other colleges with powerlifting teams,” Micik said. “From there we started organizing how we are going to approach it.”

The powerlifting team is quickly gaining interest as more than 40 students, male and female alike, have considered joining the competitive or noncompetitive team.  The team is currently independently funded and trying to get recognized by the Student Government Association.

Jim’s goal is to get the team to compete against other schools across the country, while building students’ confidence and teaching them how to train properly.

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