Oneida Indian Nation Member Ray Fougnier, 81, Sets 13 World Records in Weightlifting and Earns Four Gold Medals

Oneida Indian Nation member Ray Fougnier, 81, continues to shatter powerlifting records with his latest competition at the 2024 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Powerlifting North American Championships. In addition to earning two of the competition’s top awards – Best Overall Male Powerlifter and Best Squat Award, the Oneida Indian Nation powerlifter set 13 new world records and earned four gold medals. Fougnier continues his mission to inspire people of all ages to live a healthy lifestyle.

Oneida Indian Nation Homelands (April 10, 2024) — Oneida Indian Nation Member Ray Fougnier returned to the world stage to showcase his exceptional abilities in powerlifting at the 2024 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) North American Championships held last week outside Las Vegas in Loughlin, NV. Celebrating a decade of competing in AAU championships, the 81-year-old grandfather set 13 new world records and earned four gold medals at the competition. Fougnier was also earned the AAU Powerlifting Best Overall Male Lifter Award and the Best Squat Award. The two awards name the best athlete of all competitors, regardless of age.

For many years, the Oneida Indian Nation has  sponsored Fougnier at powerlifting events across the country where  he has served as an ambassador and advocate for promoting healthy living and exercise for Oneida members and all Native people.

“I live everyday by my motto, ‘age is not a barrier’ and I hope to inspire others to live a healthy lifestyle, regardless of the number of candles on their birthday cake,” Fougnier said. “You don’t have to compete for world records to be healthy; just stay active, have a consistent diet and you will extend your life.”

In 2023, Fougnier was named the AAU National Powerlifter of the Year. The year prior, he earned the 2022 AAU Strength Sports Best Overall Male Athlete of the Year Award, which includes powerlifting, weightlifting, body building and feats of strength. These awards include all competitors, regardless of age.

Fougnier has competed at the AAU North American, World and International Powerlifting Championships for ten years, setting new records every time in the raw master’s division, where participants within his age range (80-84) do not use equipment to assist their lift.

In addition to his success in powerlifting, Fougnier is also an accomplished educator, administrator and academic. After growing up in the homelands of the Oneida Indian Nation in Upstate New York, the weightlifting champion was selected to serve as the first Director for the American Indian Program at Cornell University. He also served as a teacher or administrator in the East Syracuse-Minoa, Solvay, Westhill and Syracuse City school districts.