2016 Strength Sports Hall of Fame
ORLANDO, Fla. (August 31, 2016) - The Amateur Athletic Union today released the names of the 2016 AAU Strength Sports Hall of Fame inductees, and the recipient of the 2016 AAU Strength Sports Brother Bennett Award.
“Our 2016 Hall of Fame class of inductees is comprised of outstanding U.S. and international competitors,” says Martin Drake, Chairman of AAU Strength Sports. “This year, we reviewed submissions from several of our long-time international participants, and several U.S. powerlifting competitors were also at the top of the list for consideration. We will officially induct these athletes into the Strength Sports Hall of Fame at this year’s World Championship Weekend in September in Las Vegas.”
The list included multi-time Brazilian and world powerlifting and strength sports champion Flavio Danna, who has brought Brazilian teams to AAU world powerlifting championships in the United States for more than 20 years, and has set numerous national and international records in the powerlifts and other specialty lifts like the curl, and repetition bench press, in various federations.
Also to be inducted are the husband and wife team of Martin and Karin Heindl of Austria. Karin began powerlifting at the age of 40 after years of fitness training; she competes in a variety of powerlifting federations and is also a national referee, working at the scoring tables for European and World competitions. Karin has set 18 open world records, and more than 60 masters world records in the 114 and 123 lb. classes.
Her husband Martin began powerlifting at age 32, becoming a national and world champion and official; in 2003, he founded a new powerlifting federation which would become World United Amateur Powerlifting (WUAP), directing numerous world and European championships. Martin has competed multiple times as a raw lifter at the AAU World Powerlifting and Bench Press Championships, setting five open and 43 masters world records, plus European records in three weight classes (148 lbs., 165 lbs. and 181 lbs.).
Coby Carden, of Oklahoma, is another AAU Strength Sports drug-free athlete and 2016 Hall of Fame inductee. First competing with AAU in 1974, Coby has competed at every weight class between 132 lbs. and 198 lbs., and has won dozens of national and world titles. As a police officer, he also won the national police and fire powerlifting championship multiple times, and the IPF world police and fire championships, and he has set multiple national and world records in competition. His most recent title was earlier in 2016, at 198 lbs.
2016 Hall of Fame inductee Bill Croft, from North Carolina, is another powerlifter with nearly 40 years of competition. He is a multi-time drug-free national and world champion who began participating with AAU Powerlifting in 1978. Bill has won more than 70 titles in the 165 lb. class, received the Best Lifter award 25 times, and has set 74 records since 1999 at the World, American and State level.
Longtime Washington state powerlifter Andrew Bull Stewart will receive the 2016 AAU Strength Sports Brother Bennett Award for his decades of continuous support of strength sports competition and healthy lifestyle training. Originally from Mississippi, Bull starred in football and track in high school and college, eventually moving to Seattle in 1994 to pursue a career as a trainer, coach and motivational speaker. He won his first world power lifting championship in Redding, England in 1988, and has won multiple national and world titles, set numerous world records, and still holds the heaviest world record total recorded in AAU. He is also a former Northwest USA Strongest Man.
“Bull has trained thousands of men and women, including athletes at all levels,” says Martin Drake. “He is the perfect representative of AAU Strength Sports, always giving of himself for the betterment of others.”
Congratulations to this year's hall class.