Deborah Esther Ainslie Acason Lovely

Further Personal Information
Family
Husband Josh, daughters Eva [2011] and Ella [2015]
Other names
Deborah Lovely
Residence
Miles, QLD, AUS
Occupation
Athlete, Coach
Languages
English, Japanese
Higher education
Criminology, Law - Griffith University: Brisbane, QLD, AUS
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She began weightlifting at about age 15.
Why this sport?
She initially took up the sport as strength training to help her throw the discus and hammer.
Club / Team
Ipswich Olympic Weightlifting Academy: Australia
General Interest
Nicknames
Deb (Facebook profile, 26 Apr 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, VIC, Australia, and competing at the Olympic Games in 2004 and 2008. (commonwealthgames.com.au, 01 Jan 2018)
Most influential person in career
Coach Mike Keelan and her parents. (commonwealthgames.com.au, 01 Jan 2018; playersvoice.com.au, 08 Apr 2018)
Hero / Idol
Australian tennis player Margaret Court, Scottish rugby player and missionary Eric Liddell, and English triple jumper Jonathan Edwards. (commonwealthgames.com.au, 01 Jan 2018; sportforwomen.com.au, 2012)
Injuries
In late July 2017 she suffered a quadriceps tear, that took her until December 2017 to recover from. (ipswichfirst.com.au, 12 Dec 2017)

She suffered from a shoulder injury in May 2016 that threatened her career. She opted not to have surgery and was able to recover and returned to full training in late 2017. "I wasn't able to afford the surgery and I didn't think I'd ever be able to lift again after that." (qt.com.au, 14 Dec 2017; ipswichfirst.com.au, 12 Dec 2017; AAP, 2016)

She broke her ankle in 2006. (NOC, 19 Jun 2008)

She required saline injections to treat tendinitis in her knee in the lead-up to the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. (NOC, 19 Jun 2008)

She needed an arthroscopy in her left hip socket after the 2003 World Junior Championships in Hermosillo, Mexico. (NOC, 19 Jun 2008)

She underwent thumb surgery after the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England. (NOC, 19 Jun 2008)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"At school talks I always tell kids that firstly you've got to do your best, and also you've got to respect your school teachers. A lot of people ask me to talk about 'following your dream', but I think you can't only just do what you love. Sometimes you have to do the really hard stuff first. You have to work hard and sometimes that's painful, but then that gets you to the things that you love. Training is not always fun. Sometimes it's really, really hard and tiring and hurts, but you have to get through that stuff to get to the end product, which for me is getting to a big competition and doing the sport that I love." (playersvoice.com.au, 08 Apr 2018)
Awards and honours
She was a baton bearer for the Queen's Baton Relay ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. (playersvoice.com.au, 08 Apr 2018)

She was inducted into the Australian Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame in 2013. (awf.com.au, 18 Nov 2015)
Other sports
She competed in discus and hammer throw at the 1999 World Youth Championships in Poland, and at the 2000 World Junior Championships in Chile. At the 2005 Queensland Track Cycling Championships in Australia, she won three gold medals and two silver medals. She was also named in the Australian women's rugby training squad in 2006, but was unable to take part after breaking her ankle. She has also coached throwing disciplines at several schools in Australia including Church of England Grammar in Brisbane, QLD, and St Edmund's College in Ipswich, QLD. (SportsDeskOnline, 13 Oct 2015; NOC, 19 Jun 2008; QWA, 11 Feb 2006; Facebook profile, 26 Apr 2018)
Other information
LIFE AFTER SPORT
Speaking in 2018 she said she plans to retire from the sport soon, and hopes to continue working in the legal field. "I worked for Crown Law in Brisbane for a year and a half and so would like to work as a lawyer in some capacity one day, although I do feel as though I have a lot to give back in my sport, so perhaps I might find work in the future using my 20 years of sporting experience. I have always been really intrigued by police and army but we will have to see. Meanwhile, I'll continue with my career after the [2018] Commonwealth Games. There's still a chance of a world championships a bit later in the year, but I feel towards the end of the year or next year [2019], I'll be pretty ready to let my daughters take over the sporting role in our lives." (playersvoice.com.au, 08 Apr 2018)

NATIONAL FIRST
At the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia, she became the first Australian weightlifter to compete in five consecutive editions of the Commonwealth Games. "I'm the first [Australian] weightlifter to do five [Commonwealth Games]. It's pretty amazing. I just can't believe I've had such longevity in the sport." (qt.com.au, 28 Dec 2017; gc2018.com.au, 01 May 2018)

CHANGING OUTLOOK
Outside of sport, she enjoys the benefits that her strength brings, and says her outlook on sport has changed since having a family. "I've always thought that life is so much easier being strong, especially when you have to move things. We just bought a house before the [2018] Commonwealth Games and we are trying to sell our current place. We were moving some of our furniture and I literally just picked up a couch by myself and put it in the trailer. I just kept thinking to myself, 'I would hate to be someone that can't move a couch on their own', because it is really handy. It might sound a bit silly, but strength is useful with kids too. I can hold a 15kg child for a really long time. But there's another kind of strength I've gained from children. Having kids has helped me grow both as an athlete and a person. When you're an athlete you have the blinkers on to some extent, the focus is just on training and competitions. When you become a coach, you have to widen those blinkers a bit as there's more to focus on. But when you become a parent, it just opens up your eyes so much with so much more to look after. Being a parent has just made me feel so different as a coach, as a director of the Australian Weightlifting Federation, as an athlete and as a person." (playersvoice.com.au, 08 Apr 2018)

CLUB FOUNDER
She started a weightlifting club with her husband in Queensland, Australia. "We went to a little town in western Queensland called Miles, and were there from 2013 to 2015 and started a club out there. We called it the Saints weightlifting club. The local football team was called the Devils, so I thought we should be called the Saints as the club started on the slab of concrete at the back of the church that we lived next door to, as my husband was the pastor of St Andrews Presbyterian Church. The club is still going really strong. The head coach Sonia is down here on the Gold Coast volunteering at the [2018 Commonwealth] Games, and she's got a lot of young kids doing the sport, which is great. They're doing really well and they always get medals at the state championships and a couple at nationals and internationals as well." (playersvoice.com.au, 08 Apr 2018)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
She stood as a candidate for the Family First Party in the 2012 state elections in Australia. She has refereed at international weightlifting events and has served on the board of the Australian Weightlifting Federation. (playersvoice.com.au, 08 Apr 2018; awf.com.au, 01 Jan 2018; 18 Nov 2015; 18 Mar 2016; q

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