JOEY Mendiola Colisao made a name for himself in the recent 2nd Marianas Cup hosted by CNMI Weightlifting as he lifted a total of 215kg to finish second in the 109kg weight category that was topped by David Barnhouse.

But before his stellar performance that day, we take a look back on how Colisao became the athlete he is today.

Control was the key to his success.

“I went through some struggles before coming back to Saipan,”  Colisao said in an interview with Variety.

He was born here  but raised on Guam. “The reason for us coming back to Saipan was due to my biological father leaving us and moving back to the Philippines in 2014. After that our lives spiraled downwards and we went through hardships until we decided to move back to Saipan. During those times, I felt like I couldn't really control anything at all,” said the 18-year-old weightlifter. 

But then Colisao started to lift weights in school. “That was the only time I felt like I could actually control something,” he said.

Originally, he focused more on powerlifting and strongman-style workouts, but eventually he became interested in weightlifting.

Colisao started watching videos on YouTube depicting men lifting heavy weights in a way that he had never seen before.

“At first, it was intimidating,” he said. “I tried to do it by myself but it threw me off. It was a movement I wasn't familiar with, so I left it. But at Latte Built I decided to try weightlifting once more since there were other people doing it there.”

This was the start of Colisao's passion for weightlifting. 

Since then, Colisao has been working and training with Angel San Nicolas who was on the CNMI team that brought home 15 medals in the 9th Micronesian Games in 2018.

San Nicolas said Colisao could  surpass him next year.

For Colisao, “the best way to improve in weightlifting is working on technique. This sport emphasizes on technique and not just brute strength. So practicing the technique and tweaking on how you lift the weight is a good way to improve.”

At his very first competition, the 2nd Marianas Cup, Colisao had a perfect run, marking 85kg, 90kg and 95kg in the snatch category, and 110kg, 114kg and 120kg in the clean & jerk for a total of 215kg.

“I thought I did well,” he said. “I definitely hit new personal bests that day but I felt like I could have done more that day. The weights felt light.”

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