The first family of weightlifting in Belleville is undoubtedly the Walts, and Art Walt is a big reason for that. Born in Belleville in December 1951, he remains a city resident to this day. Art began his weightlifting career at the tender age of 12, weighing just under 100 pounds. In order to join the Apollo Barbell Club he was required to lift his own body weight overhead. Needless to say, Art Walt succeeded.
He was a member of the Canadian weightlifting team from 1973 to 1975, representing Canada in the 90 kg. (198 pound) class at the 1973 World Championships in Cuba and the 1975 Pan American Games in Mexico City. Art Walt established both Canadian and British Commonwealth Junior records in the 82.5 kg. (181 pound) class by lifting 275 pounds in the snatch in 1970 and 349 pounds in the clean and jerk in 1971. At the 1971 Canada Games in the 82.5 kg. class he established a games record in the (250 pounds) and total lift (825 pounds in three lifts). A silver medallist at the 1971 Canadian championships, he also won a bronze at the 1976 championships. In 1970 he was the Canadian Intermediate Champion in the 82.5 kg. class and the Ontario Games Champion and record holder in the same class.
Add to his list of accomplishments Ontario Senior and Junior championships and records in various classes. He won the “best lifter” award at the 1969, 1970 and 1971 Eastern Ontario Teenage Weightlifting championships. A portent of his future success came in 1968 when the 16-year-old Art Walt became the youngest Canadian weightlifter to lift 300 pounds overhead. Art lifted 303 pounds.0