Powerlifting USA Magazine

Dr. Cindy Wyatt Reinhoudt - Daring To Be First

Before proponents of women's strength sports proved to the world that lifting weights was not just exclusive to men, powerlifting was indeed a "man's sport". No one dared to break this precedent until a young lady from the state of New York began to make headlines in Strength and Health Magazine in the track and field world. The young athlete was Cindy Wyatt. While attending college at the University of Hawaii, Cindy trained under the auspices of two time Olympic Gold Medal winning weightlifter, Tommy Kono and registered an official shot put of 48'6' in 1962. Also while attending the university, Cindy was seen in the pages of Strength and Health cleaning and jerking 230; all in 1962! Her weight training focused on increasing the distance of her shot put but when Cindy later attended classes at the University of Buffalo, she would put her enormous strength to a different task which would change the course of history.

On Saturday, March 20, 1965 at the Rite-Form Health Studio in Kenmore, New York, Cindy competed in the 2nd annual Self Improvement Power Meet. This would be the first time that a woman would compete in a weightlifting contest of any kind anywhere in the world.

Weighing approximately 155, Cindy officially bench pressed 160, squatted 235 and deadlifted 315 for a 710 total. The crashing of her 315 deadlift, in so many ways was as profound as the ringing of the Liberty Bell. This success spurred Cindy to achieving further victories in her newly chosen sport.

In 1977, in Nashua, New Hampshire at the Prospect St. YMCA, Cindy competed in the first ever National Powerlfiting Meet for Women with her husband, World's Strongest Man winner, Don Reinhoudt at her side for moral support. Here Cindy won her class and the Best Lifter trophy with a squat of 360, a bench press of 210 and a deadlift of 375 for a 975 total as a middleweight.

The following year in Nashua, Cindy competed in the Nationals again which consisted of over 100 female lifters and a contingent from Australia! Here, as a middleweight, Cindy squatted 385, bench pressed 205 and deadlifted 385 for a total of 975 which garnered for her a victory in the middleweight division and best lifter of the entire meet!

This victory marked the retirement of an incredible athlete whose courage matches her strength. Author Tony Fitton once quoted Eugene Ware in saying "All glory goes to those who dare to begin". Dr. Cindy Wyatt Reinhoudt is the recipient of that glory. A victory not just for her but for all womankind.

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