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Angel Billen : Weightlifting Her Way to the Top

Monica Sethi Darpan, 24 May, 2024 09:00 AM
  • Angel Billen : Weightlifting Her Way to the Top

"Weightlifting has taught me the importance of resilience and hard work. It's more than just lifting weights; it's about lifting myself and others to break stereotypes and reach new heights,".

Angel Billen stands out as a symbol of strength and determination in the Canadian sports arena, especially in weightlifting. As the number one youth weightlifter in British Columbia and a commanding presence on the international stage, Angel's journey through the world of sports is inspiring and transformative, especially for women in athletics.

Hailing from a family with deep roots in sports, Angel's path was carved early by her father, Harjit Singh Billen, a renowned wrestler and coach at Rustom Wrestling Club. It was under the watchful eyes of her father and the guidance of her sister, Helena, who is also her coach, that Angel found her passion and prowess in weightlifting. This unique family dynamic has not only shaped her into a formidable athlete but also instilled a deep sense of discipline and resilience that transcends the gym.

Angel's achievements speak volumes about her dedication. She is a Commonwealth Championships gold medalist in both youth and junior categories, a Youth Pan-American gold medalist, and a Junior National champion. These accolades are a testament to her hard work and the familial support that has been the cornerstone of her success. "Weightlifting has taught me the importance of resilience and hard work. It's more than just lifting weights; it's about lifting myself and others to break stereotypes and reach new heights," Angel shared in a recent interview.

Training at her father's club, Angel is not only a student but also a role model to many. Her presence in the weightlifting community, especially in a sport often dominated by men, challenges and changes the gender norms that have historically sidelined women, particularly in the South Asian community. 

Angel balances her rigorous training schedule with her academic responsibilities as a high school student at Princess Margaret Secondary School, showcasing her exceptional time management skills. Her ability to juggle these demands highlights her discipline, a quality that has been essential to her success both on and off the lifting platform.

Angel is focused on her upcoming international appearances, including the IWF World Youth Championships and the Commonwealth Senior, Junior & Youth Championships. With each competition, she aims not only to win medals but also to set new records, pushing her limits to achieve her ultimate goal—a gold medal at the Olympics.

Angel is candid about the challenges she faces, including the financial strains of competing internationally. "Sponsorship is crucial at this stage of my career. It helps cover training and travel expenses, allowing me to focus on what I truly love," she explains. This support is vital for her to continue representing Canada on the global stage, inspiring future generations to pursue their sporting dreams.

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