Marie-Josée Arès-Pilon had to be asked to show off her bronze medal tucked safely in the pocket of her Canada tracksuit, when she arrived at Winnipeg airport Friday afternoon.
The 32-year-old weightlifter from Lorette, Man., won bronze in the 69 kilogram category at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, this past Monday.
It was Arès-Pilon’s second time competing in the games, her last performance coming in 2010 Delhi games where she finished in fourth place.
"It felt really good because I put a lot of hard work into the past four years," Arès-Pilon said of the experience. "Every little bit of kilo counted for the bronze so I was really happy about that."
There were two portions to Arès-Pilon’s event: The "snatch" and the "clean and jerk," each gave the athletes three attempts and the total weight determined the results. In the snatch exercise, the 5'4" Arès-Pilon powerfully pulled the barbell up and over her head for a third lift of 99 kg, to sit in third place heading into the clean and jerk.
In her second attempt of the clean and jerk portion, Arès-Pilon battled to lift 115 kg. She failed her heavier third lift and settled for a bronze medal.
Arès-Pilon said she’s had a minor back injury for over a month and a half but was happy she was able to land on the podium.
"I was just trying to put 100 per cent on the platform and that’s what I did so I’m really happy that I was able to pull through with a great performance," she said.