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Retired Pasco Co. deputy lifts on world stage after horrific crash

Posted at 4:18 PM, May 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-27 18:08:54-04

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. -- When you see Mike Ferrantelli lifting more than 500 pounds, you would never know just a few years ago he almost died.

Mike, his wife Kelli and two daughters were all injured in 2016 when a driver crashed into the motorcycles they were riding.

Ferrantelli, a retired captain with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, got the worst of it.

He suffered broken bones, a collapsed lung and severed a tendon.

But he pushed through and didn’t give up on powerlifting, the sport he loves.

“The more I trained the stronger I got,” he said.

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It just culminated with the World Championships in Japan, where Mike representing the United States, lifted 518 pounds and won a bronze medal.

“I was awestruck," he said. "The entire time I was standing on that podium I was crying.”

After all those days in that hospital bed, Mike never thought he’d be back competing against the best in the sport.

But he did it and picked up his 11th world championship medal.

“I was blessed. Just to be in this top condition. God was holding my hand,” Mike said.

Through all this, Mike says he learned how to fight for something harder than he’s ever done before.

Despite injuries that will never fully heal, he’s not done. 

He’s already thinking about the next competition. 

“Nothing in this life comes easy. If you want something you have to take it,” he said.