NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — Local weightlifter, also a retired sheriff's captain, and his family are making a comeback following a hit and run crash.
When Mike Ferentilli, 52, first got back into a gym, it didn’t look good.
“I had 20 pounds on the leg extension and I couldn’t do it, and I became very emotional.”
That’s because before a driver crashed into his motorcycle in 2016, Ferentilli was one of the best weightlifters in the world.
He had previously bench pressed 623 pounds in a competition.
“It was rough at first, and it was sad to see him down,” said his wife, Kelly.
She and his two daughters were all injured that night.
“We had three of us in physical therapy at the same time,” Mike said.
But Mike was hurt the worst.
His future in weightlifting was doubtful, but he didn’t stop pushing himself even with a severed tendon on his triceps and tears in both shoulders.
He’s not all the way back, but Mike is getting there.
He just won a national competition, benching more than 500 pounds. And he’ll go to Japan next year to represent the United States in The World Championships.
“If anybody is going to come back from anything it’s gonna be this man. The determination, the strength, the want-to,” Kelly said.
“God spared us for a reason, to do better and greater things,” Mike said.
FHP ticketed the woman who crashed into Mike’s motorcycle but never charged her with leaving the scene.