NEW YORK — Oneida Indian Nation member, Ray Fougnier, who is 79 years old, was announced as the 2022 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Powerlifting World champion.
He also set 27 world records and earned eight gold medals. Fougnier also won the AAU Strength Sports Overall Male, National Athlete of the Year Award, which includes powerlifting, weightlifting, body building and feats of strength. This award includes all competitors, regardless of age.
Fougnier explained to WKTV that his mission is to promote healthy living and exercise for Indigenous people of all ages. In addition to his powerlifting success, Fougnier is also an educator, administrator and academic. He was selected to serve as the first director for the American Indian Program at Cornell University.
The AAU was founded in 1888 to establish standards and uniformity in amateur sports. During its early years, the AAU served as a leader in international sport representing the U.S. in the international sports federations. The AAU worked closely with the Olympic movement to prepare athletes for the Olympic Games.
After the Amateur Sports Act of 1978, the AAU has focused its efforts into providing sports programs for all participants of all ages beginning at the grass roots level. The philosophy of “Sports for All, Forever,” is shared by more than 720,000 participants and over 150,000 volunteers.