Interested in reading about other people’s thoughts on this.
My take on this is pretty simple… They did different sports.
Weightlifting is simply harder than Powerlifting. The age category of masters for weightlifting is 35 and above. There are several divisions of masters in powerlifting, using the IPF as an example. There is masters 1 (40-49), masters 2 (50-59), masters 3 (60-65), masters 4 (65-70), and grandmasters (70+). I think it’s pretty evident that longevity plays a far bigger role in powerlifting. I recall Ed Coan discussing with a bunch of lifters in a podcast somewhere that the prime of a powerlifter is probably in their early to mid 30s.
The fact that there is a middle aged olympic lifter who was considered a gold standard at your gym just confuses me a little to be honest.