Eva Buxbom is an inspirational woman whose passion and dedication to the sport shines from within and is evident by her recent performance at the European Open, Junior and Sub Junior Powerlifting Championships in Pilsen this August. Her face lights up when she talks about powerlifting and its importance in her life. Eva, now aged 52, started lifting quite late, at the age of 34.
Eva has always loved sport, particularly the team spirit and social life. She trained in private gyms with her brother and some of his friends, until the boys became more involved with their work. Looking for something to take the place of her regular gym sessions with the lads, Eva considered Strong Woman but she was too small and light to ever be successful. Weightlifting wasn’t for her either. But Eva soon discovered something that would change her life for ever. She talks excitedly about her introduction to powerlifting.
‘One day I was competing in a Judo competition in my local town and that is where I first saw powerlifting. I joined a club and they were so kind and they taught me. I already knew about squats and bench press which I had been doing at the gym, but I never knew about deadlifts so I started from the ground. They taught me everything and put me in suits and knee wraps. How cool was that?’
It wasn't long before Eva started competing. She feels immense gratitude to all the clubs she attended in the early days. ‘That is why I’m here today. I’ve always met people who have been kind enough to help me. I’m so grateful, so grateful. Life is so good’ she says. ‘Now I am the leader in my club and I’m helping new lifters as well. I love the synergy in clubs where you have one sport and one competition and when I train, I’m very focussed. I’m doing the best for myself and learning techniques but I’m also supporting others’.
I asked Eva what advice she would give to a woman of her own age, trying powerlifting for the first time. ‘The funny thing is I actually have a woman like that. She came to me and said she wanted to try powerlifting because she’s seen her son doing it. I’ve just started training with her. We’re lucky, we have quite a lot of money in our club for new equipment so when new lifters come to us we can say try this out, you can just borrow it until your first competition. And this woman, she only started two weeks ago and she’s just crazy about it. She’s already got a good squat, bench and deadlift and now we just put weights on. Now it’s my turn to give back. it’s so great to guide new women into the sport!’
When asked about the best moment in her career, Eva talks candidly and with emotion about her husband, Jorgen Rasmussen. ‘The best moment of my whole career was meeting my husband. I was born in Copenhagen but when I met Jorgen I moved to his home city in Jutland and that’s where I live now. I was an athlete on the national team, and he was the coach and that’s how we met. We’ve been married for 12 years. Travelling to events, to have your best friend, your lover, your soulmate with you, it just makes it better. He’s such a good man because of the things he does, all the things that people don’t see, all the difficult choices, all the hard work behind the scenes. I love him and I’m so grateful that he loves me too and has chosen me. It beats everything. How lucky can you be?’.
Aside from lifting weights, Jorgen saw Eva´s potential to expand her career in other directions. ‘He encouraged me to be the chairman of the club. And also, to be a referee. I never thought I would do that, but he opened the door and said try it, maybe you could do that. And suddenly I am the chairman of my club and I’m a referee. And now, if I can change just a little bit of the world for the people around me, maybe I can make the world just a little bit better for everyone.’
2021 has certainly been a good year for Eva. When she´s not lifting, she writes. At age 52 she has just secured her first publishing deal and in a few months her novel will be on the shelves. ‘I read a lot of other fiction and it inspires me. This is my third novel. I write quite long novels so it’s a lot of hard work. Depending on how many books I sell at Christmas I hope now I can live by my writing. Writing and training, that would be a perfect life. I love those two different things, they blend well.'
I asked Eva to sum up how she feels about life at the moment. Wreathed in smiles, she responded. ‘I’m in the EPF Hall of Fame. I got a book published. And this is the first gold medal I’ve ever had. I´ve had a bronze and a silver but this is my first gold medal in Open. And I’ve set a new world record in deadlift. Life is so good’.
EPF Media Secretary