“It’s a nice way to motivate ourselves:” Racine family dominates the sport of powerlifting

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RACINE -- When you think of powerlifters you probably picture big, beefy men. But one Racine family is about to adjust your perception.

"My junior year in high school I just wanted to work out in the weight room, we got this cool new weight room here and you couldn't use it unless you were an athlete," said Kimmy Johnson, USA powerlifter.

Kimmy Johnson

Kimmy Johnson

"My sister started doing it after she saw some of my dads old medals and ever since I've found it to be an interest and really inspiring a way to be like my dad and compete," said Kenneth Johnson, champion powerlifter.

You could easily say it's a family affair.

"The Johnson family is just all in," said Steven Zahn, Horlick High School powerlifting head coach.

All in doesn't even begin to describe the talent and passion the Johnson family has for competitive powerlifting.

"Their dad lifts. He's very competitive as well," said Zahn.

Kimmy Johnson is a graduate of Horlick High School and holds multiple Rebel records.

"My first meet I was actually scared. I hated it. I never wanted to come back. I didn't know what I was doing and I ended up winning gold, and I was like okay, I guess I can come back," said Kimmy.

Johnson's younger brother, Kenneth, graduated in June of 2015 and the halls of Horlick are also decorated with his records.

Kenneth Johnson

Kenneth Johnson

"Kenny won nationals this past year in Milwaukee. He set a number of records: He has the state record in deadlift and he's got other records here and there," said Zahn.

Kimmy and Kenneth recently competed with Team USA in the World Powerlifting Championships in Prague, with each finishing as the 2nd best overall lifter in their weight class.

World Powerlifting Championship

World Powerlifting Championship

Despite the three year age difference, they're the same weight. So the siblings train together and can help better each other along the way.

"It's a nice way to motivate ourselves," said Kenneth.

"We're always lifting like who can lift more, who can do what better -- he squats more, he deadlifts more," said Kimmy.

"It makes it a little more fun, we compare total wilts, we go about all our business," said Kenneth.

Their business, the family business of powerlifting, helps solidify a very special bond.

"We all get home from work and our busy days from school and we all meet here. Like everyone in the family comes here. My younger brothers lift, my mom comes and is kind of like 'coach mom' and my dad lifts and it's awesome," said Kimmy.

Kimmy and Kenneth Johnson

Kimmy and Kenneth Johnson

Their business -- the family business of powerlifting, helps solidify a very special bond.

"It's not just that we're living in the same house, we all do the same things. this sport, we can challenge each other we can push each other, we can goof around with each other but we all know the focus of the sport. we all understand the basic concepts. it makes it a little unique to have a family do that," said Kenneth

There are still two Johnson kids competing at Horlick High School, and both Kimmy and Kenneth help coach them.