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Love takes Winnipeg weightlifting official around the globe

Winnipegger still can’t believe the places he’s been through weightlifting

Richard Mason, seen here at an Arizona Cardinals game with his wife Susanne Dandenault, got into weightlifting in 2000 as a way to spend more time with Susanne.

Photo courtest: Richard Mason

Richard Mason, seen here at an Arizona Cardinals game with his wife Susanne Dandenault, got into weightlifting in 2000 as a way to spend more time with Susanne.

When Richard Mason went looking for love he found it and so much more - including places he never imagined.

Mason was just at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto working as a weightlifting official and announcer, and that’s just one of many top-tier weightlifting events he has officiated around the world.

The 50-year-old from St. Vital had no plans to get into the sport of weightlifting, until he met and started dating Susanne Dandenault, a nine-time national champion in weightlifting back in 2000. He soon realized he needed a way to spend time with her.

“At that point she was training three or four hours a day, and to be blunt if you want to see someone that is training three or four hours a day, you better find a way to spend time in the gym,” said Mason.

“And I’ve often said I’m not smart enough to coach and too weak to be a weightlifter, so that left officiating.”

Mason may have started learning the sport of weightlifting as a way to spend time with a girl, but he took it very seriously.  

“So then as it turns out you’re actually good at something,” said Mason.

Officiating weightlifting has now taken Mason across Canada and the U.S., and to Scotland, Venezuela, and even Israel.

“It’s just been a hoot. I’ve been places I never imagined I would go. I’ve even floated in the Dead Sea,” said Mason.

The weightlifting stuff may have worked out better than Mason could had imagined, but that whole love thing has gone pretty well too, as he and Susanne have been happily married for more than 10 years, and have two kids.  

“It’s amazing,” said Mason. “It’s been a blessed ride.”

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