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Powered by Family, Supported by Community Meet Weightlifting Prodigy: Angel Billen

Naina Grewal Darpan, 28 Sep, 2023
  • Powered by Family, Supported by Community Meet Weightlifting Prodigy: Angel Billen

Angel Billen is not your typical 15-year-old, having already made a name for herself in the world of weightlifting. Entering the world of weightlifting at just 6 years old, Angel has won many provincial, national and international medals till date. From the moment Angel embarked on her weightlifting journey, she felt the embrace of her community. "The pride the community takes in my sisters and me is a prime example of how our wins are everyone's wins. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to be in a place where I can represent an entire community on world stages.", Angel acknowledges. 

A pinnacle moment in Angel's career is her recent remarkable performance at the 2023 Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships, held in Noida, India. Her meticulous preparation paid off when she lifted 123kg for her last clean and jerk attempt, a moment that felt surreal. Angel's sister, Helena, also her coach at the championships, shared in this victory, creating an unforgettable moment of immense happiness for the Billen family. “We chose lifts very strategically and Angel was able to hit a really big lift that we prepared for to seal the two gold medals. Angel and I shared a very special hug as she walked off the stage towards the coach’s corner. It felt like the entire training block had become successful and the hours she put into her training gave back to her in the best way possible.”, shares Helena. 

Growing up with two older sisters, Helena and Jeenat, who excelled in weightlifting, and now a younger brother, Udaypartap Singh Billen, who also partakes in the sport, Angel never felt pressured to outshine anyone. Her family coaches her, trains with her, and celebrates her victories. This familial support has allowed all children to shine in their own right. Jeenat elaborates, “The most challenging part about this sport is that it requires you to give up your time and your day to day in order to accomplish your goals. The most rewarding part is watching your hard work pay off and accomplishing the goals that you had set for yourself.” 

Balancing school and the rigorous demands of weightlifting is no small feat, but Angel has mastered the art of time management. She trains twice a day, five days a week, maintaining a disciplined schedule. Her family and community are pillars of support, enabling her to keep pushing her limits in training. Harjit Singh Billen and Atinder Kaur Billen are proud parents. Harjit, who alongside being a doting father is also owner of Rustom Wrestling Club, introduced Helena to weightlifting when she was just 13, igniting a remarkable family journey in the sport. He highlights, “Seeing all three of my daughters excel in weightlifting fills me with so much pride, excitement and gratitude. It’s a dream come true to witness their hard work and dedication pay off. I was taunted for having three daughters and now all three of my daughters are so well celebrated!”

Angel's advice to young girls aspiring to pursue sports is both powerful and straightforward, "Keep training hard and breaking social barriers!" The girl boss encourages budding athletes to give their all, take pride in their hard work, and persist in the face of adversity. Undoubtedly, Angel Billen's accomplishments at such a young age are a testament to her potential, and with her family by her side, the future holds boundless opportunities for this rising star!

ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE FAMILY:

Olympic Weightlifting

Name: Helena Billen

Accomplishments: Multiple Time Junior National Champion, Multiple Time Western Canadian Champion, Junior Commonwealth Championships Bronze Medalist, Senior National Champion, Junior World Participant.

Name: Jeenat Billen

Accomplishments: Multiple Time Junior National Champion, Multiple Time Western Canadian Champion, 2-Time Youth Pan-American Silver Medalist, Junior Pan-American Bronze Medalist, Youth Commonwealth Championships Silver and Bronze Medalist, Junior Commonwealth Championships Bronze Medalist, Senior Commonwealth Championships Bronze Medalist, Youth Olympic 2018 Selected, Junior World Participant.

Name: Angel Billen

Accomplishments: Youth and Junior Commonwealth Gold Medalist, U15 Pan-American Gold Medalist, Junior National Champion, B.C Provincial Champion, Youth Worlds 4th and 5th Place.

Wrestling

Name: Harjit Singh Billen

Accomplishments: 2003 Mahabharat Kesri Title Winner, 1st Place (Hakimpur), 1996 Punjab Kesri Title Winner, 1st Place.

 

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