Oneida Nation Member to Compete in Worldwide Powerlifting Championship at 71 Years Old

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Oneida Indian Nation member and 71-year-old retiree Ray Fougnier will compete in the worldwide powerlifting championship in South Africa this June, with his travel being sponsored by the Nation. Though Fougnier joined the sport late in life, he has already achieved great success and hopes to inspire the Native American community, and children in particular, to embrace fitness and health.

I am honored to lead by example and display the many benefits of a fit lifestyle.

The Oneida Indian Nation today announced that its 71-year-old member Ray Fougnier will compete in the worldwide powerlifting championship in Johannesburg, South Africa this June. Fougnier, who grew up on the Oneida Nation’s homelands in central New York and now lives in Tennessee, is a retired teacher and former head of the American Indian program at Cornell University. While Fougnier has always prioritized fitness and healthy living, he only last year tried powerlifting for the first time. He views his competitive weightlifting as an opportunity to be a positive role model for Native Americans, in particular children, whose community is beset by many ongoing health issues.

The Oneida Indian Nation is proud to sponsor Fougnier and is wishing him great success in South Africa.

Despite coming to the sport later in life, Fougnier has already achieved amazing success since joining U.S.A. Powerlifting, the nation’s leading, drug-free powerlifting association, in 2013. The Oneida Nation member won the first competition in which he competed and a silver medal in the second. Later, at a national event in Orlando, he not only won his age bracket, but also broke records in the squat, bench press and deadlift categories. His achievements there qualified him for the upcoming worldwide competition, the 2014 International Powerlifting Federation Championships.

“I am honored to lead by example and display the many benefits of a fit lifestyle,” said Fougnier. “With the vast health issues facing Native peoples today, I sincerely hope that my participation in the upcoming world championships and the success I have achieved in sport will inspire Native Americans of all ages, and especially our children, to get active and stay healthy.”

Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter said: “The Oneida Indian Nation is thrilled to help make it possible for Ray Fougnier to travel to South Africa and compete in this prestigious worldwide championship competition. Ray is an outstanding Native American role model and a shining example of the values of the Oneida Indian Nation. We are very proud to have him representing us on an international level.”

The Oneida Indian Nation is a Native American tribe which lives on its ancestral homelands near Syracuse and operates Turning Stone Resort Casino, and a number of other successful business enterprises. The Nation has been a close ally since before the founding of the United States, fighting alongside George Washington and his troops in the Revolutionary War.

About Turning Stone Resort Casino
A premier four-season, destination resort in Upstate New York, the Oneida Indian Nation’s Turning Stone Resort Casino is conveniently located about 30 miles east of Syracuse at NYS Thruway exit 33. Turning Stone was named “Most Excellent Golf Resort” in 2010 by Condé Nast Johansens. The Academy of Country Music named Turning Stone “Casino of the Year” in 2009. The resort offers world-class gaming, golf, entertainment, accommodations and spa facilities, and has earned AAA Four Diamond ratings for The Lodge, The Tower Hotel, and Wildflowers restaurant.

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Brett Stagnitti
Oneida Indian Nation
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