Against all odds: Wewahitchka weightlifters’ journey from injury to the podium

Local Sports

PORT ST. JOE, Fla. (WMBB) – Wewahitchka weightlifter, Kaden Calhoun, came back from an injury to finish second in his weight class at the state championships on Friday in Port St. Joe.

Calhoun broke his arm playing football for the Gators in the fall, and says he can’t believe he was able to even compete.

“I’ll just say it was a miracle to me,” Calhoun said. “I didn’t think I’d ever be here after I broke my arm.”

He spent months recovering from his injury, and his weightlifting coach, Bobby Johns says, it wasn’t an easy task.

“Considering everything he’s gone through,” Johns said. “Almost four months that he couldn’t lift with his rehab, and it was a lot longer than what we expected, so he was really challenged to get back and get going.”

But for Calhoun, winning a medal wasn’t just a challenge, but something personal, as he was trying to imitate his father, the first weightlifting state champion in Wewahitchka history.

“My dad, he actually was the first state champion at Wewa,” Calhoun said. “I was hoping to follow in his footsteps.”

And although he didn’t win first place, getting up on state was something he never imagined could happen after his injury.

“For him, it was first place,” Johns said. “Because he could have easily not been lifting at all. But going through what he went through, he’s just a hard working kid.”

And with father and son both entering the history books of their high school, Calhoun says his family legacy still may not be finished.

“I actually have a little brother that’s five,” Calhoun said. “And we’ve been getting him in the weight room some, and he’s about just like me, all over the walls bouncing everywhere, really got my personality and my dads, and we’re really hoping he’s going to follow, get into weightlifting, and lets see if we can have another generation get up there.”

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