Michael R. O'Donnell
Year Inducted: 2011
Michael was born September 29, 1976 in Port Huron, Michigan. He graduated from Port Huron High School in 1995 where he was the co-captain of the 1994 football team and participated in track and wrestling. He went on to Western Michigan University and earned a degree in Exercise Science. He then worked as a strength and conditioning coach for the University of Pittsburgh football team. In 2009 he earned a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic Medicine. Michael now has his own practice in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Mike became a power lifter while he was still in high school and continued with that sport. During his lifting career he set 12 state and 14 national records. Ten of his state records still stand. Throughout his lifting career he won eight state championships and seven national championships. In 1994 and 1995, Mike won the “Best Lifter Award” in national meets. In 1998 he made the USA Power Lifting Junior World Team and competed in Gyor, Hungary in the 242 lb. weight class. In 1999 Mike again competed with the USAPL Junior World Team in Nymburk, Czech Republic, finishing third in the Super Heavyweight Class. He squatted 727 obs., bench pressed 440 lbs., and deadlifted 628 lbs. for a total of 1796 lbs. He brought home 4 bronze medals for his efforts. Mike’s best lifts in competition include an 804 lb. squat, a 529 lb. bench press and a 675 lb. dead lift.
In 2001, Mike began coaching the National and World Teams for the USAPL as well as continuing to compete in the Men’s Open Division at the 242 lb. weight class. While a coach for the USAPL World Woman’s Team in Sofia, Bulgaria, he met Jessica Watkins from Fort Wayne, Ind., who later became his wife. Both continue to train young power lifters in Fort Wayne. Mike is currently the Drug Testing Chairman for the USAPL and has been a lifelong advocate of drug-free lifting.