Team Canada - 2022 Commonwealth Games Birmingham, England

A Family Affair

Weightlifting’s Darsigny family will have two competitors at Birmingham 2022, the latest in a line of family accomplishments

The weightlifting competition at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games will have a real family feel to it, at least for Team Canada’s weightlifting team. The team features three members from the same family: coach Yvan Darsigny and his children Tali Darsigny, who will compete in the women’s 59kg weight-class and Shad Darsigny, who will compete in the men’s 73kg weight-class. Seeing the name multiple times is nothing new for this Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec family of weightlifters.

It all began when Yvan made the switch to the sport.

“I was originally involved in judo but when I went to school, there were weights. I tried it and liked it because it is you against the bar. It was competitive and challenging,” says Yvan.

Both Tali, 24, and Shad, 19, followed their father to the gym when they were kids. Eventually, they both took up the sport.

“When I was seven or eight, he asked if I wanted to try,” says Tali. “At first, I didn’t like it. I was a figure skater, so weights were never something I was interested in. I just did it to be like my dad. When I started to get good, I found my potential and realized I could do something in the sport.”

Shad, the youngest in the family also started from a young age, following not only his father and older sister, but also his brother Matt and mother Kim Barré.

“I decided on my own to get involved. I started at just five with a broom handle,” says Shad. Eventually, I made my way to the gym to train and chose the sport.”

When it comes to coaching his children, Yvan says it is no different than any other athletes he coaches, and both Tali and Shad agree. The main difference is the lessons that begin in the gym often carry over to home.

“We talk about weightlifting outside of the gym a lot, at home it is always weightlifting,” adds Tali. “I really like having him as a coach because at home we can talk strategies and do things we wouldn’t do at the gym.”

Yvan and Shad both added that sometimes they do have to try and separate weightlifting and home life but with a family of five involved in the sport, it is easier said than done.

For Yvan, he has been able to witness some of his children’s accomplishments firsthand, moments that he can look back on fondly.

“There are two that come to mind with Tali, first her Junior World Championship, when she won a bronze medal, and seeing her at the Olympics, because you can’t get any higher than that,” said Yvan.

Both Tali and Shad have medal aspirations at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Tali was a silver medalist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and believes she can find the podium again this year.

“After looking at some of the competition, I think silver or bronze is possible for me this year,” said Tali. “I think just having a good performance for the shape I am in, post Tokyo Olympics, would be my goal.”

“This is my first Games, it is the biggest event I have gone to, and I would like to medal as well,” said Shad. “It has been more than a year since I lifted in this weight category, I used to compete in a heavier weight class, but my goal is to win a medal. I am also aiming to break the Canadian record for snatch, and I think I have a good shot.”

Post Commonwealth Games, the family is assessing the weightlifting landscape before declaring on any further goals, but it would be safe to say that the Darsigny name isn’t fading from the sport any time soon.

Make sure to follow both Tali and Shad Darsigny at the 2022 Commonwealth Games by visiting the weightlifting page for schedules, results and more content.  For complete bios on each athlete download the Team Canada 2022 media guide.