Steve Lewis, Commonwealth Games pole-vault silver medallist, talks schooldays, sport and ‘Superstardom’
Where did you go to school, and was sport an important part of school life?
I went to Holden Lane High School, in Stoke-on-Trent, which became a specialist sports college when I was there.
Sport for me was my school life. It consumed everything. Any team that was going, I was the first to sign up.
Did you excel at other sports?
My dad got me into gymnastics, aged five, which gave me good motor skills, great hand-eye co-ordination, spatial awareness and good balance. I played all the core sports for the school – swimming, tennis, badminton, hockey, football and basketball.
Christine Connors was understandably apprehensive when she arrived in Columbus, Ohio, in March for the Arnold Sports Festival’s first-ever Kurt Angle World Teen Championships, an intense fitness competition for high-school athletes.
“I was pretty nervous at first,” the 18-year-old Westmont Hilltop senior said. “I didn’t think I’d have a chance. I was thinking there would be huge, gigantic girls there.
“When I found out I got the overall championship, I was like, ‘Holy crap.’ It’s awesome.”
Connors, the daughter of Mark and Kim Connors of Southmont, said she earned a $5,000 scholarship for finishing first among the eight to 10 girls in the female side of the competition.
The athletes were tested in five categories:
• Bench press. The teenagers had a minute to complete as many bench presses as possible using 70 percent of their body weight.
• Pull-ups. As many pull-ups as possible in a minute.
• Kettlebell press. The athletes had a minute to complete as many kettlebell presses as possible using 25 percent of their body weight.
• Tire-flip. The teenagers were timed on flipping 150-pound truck tire over a 30-yard course.
• Shuttle run. The teenagers were timed on a 40-yard shuttle run.