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Jessica is our 2016 Olympic Hopeful and Sarah is our 2012 Olympian in Weightlifting. We're setting out to be "Pretty Strong" and we encourage you to do the same.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Olympic Trials

I'm going to start out with saying, we qualified for the Olympics!!!! I would say I, but my coach and I are a team. His successes are mine and mine his. "It's you and me against the world kid." It's also a "we" because of all of the hard work, sacrifices, financial dents, love, and pity, were all put in by all of my friends, family, coaches, and strangers to get me to this point. It's our time and our glory.

I would like to also congratulate all of the other lifters! Thank you for being great competition and more importantly great friends. We all push each other and want the best for each other and even though, we all fought for the same goal, we will still be friends afterwards. That's great sportsmanship.

I have a few important "thank yous."
1.) Heavenly Father: For answering our prayers and making this opportunity possible. For creating this body and attitude I have to glorify You and help other people in the world.
2.) My mom: The woman who has always told me to do my best and have fun. Who sacrificed everything in her life to make anyone happy. Who will love me no matter what my faults are.
3.) My coach: My coach, is one of the best men I know. He will always do what's right. Even when people have bad things to say or when it's not popular. He's a father figure I really need in my life. A great leader. Most importantly, he dealt with me every single day. Trying to become an Olympian can make you a real crazy person. So being able to still want to coach me after all that, you can do anything! Haha.
4.) Family: My family has donated so much of their money and time to me. They've tried to come and support me at my various competitions. Sending me little cards just telling me good luck or that they love me, really helped keep me going.
5.) Friends and Strangers: Your time, money, friendship, and donations have really helped. "Good lucks" "Good jobs" "Thank yous" are greatly appreciated. Thank you for helping get to different competitions to get experience to make the team.
6.)Teammates: These people are my brothers and sisters and best friends. We all push each other, call each other out, keep each other humble, and bring out the best in each other. To have people that just "get it" really helps. They are a great comfort to me. My team mate Craig says he wants to have the same training cycle as me so we can peak at the same time and push each other going into the Olympics.
6.) Power Bar: Thank you for the products and gear. I really needed the sound nutrition, great tasting snacks, and products with quality ingredient to keep me going through the hard training needed to make the Olympic Team.

We stayed at the Hampton across the street from the venue which was VERY convenient for us. I am thankful that the Trials participants had their room and flights paid for. That helped save us a huge expense!

I liked that the competition venue faced out and that it was welcoming to so many people to spectate. It was probably the largest group I've performed in front of nationally. I really enjoyed watching lifting. Especially the men because I love competition and watching everyone battle in mortal kombat to make the Pan Am team which is the last opportunity for them to qualify for one Olympic Slot.

The warm up area was pretty small, not allowing much room for coaches to walk around but other than that, it was quiet and we weren't distracted by what was going on on the competition platform. I mostly kept my head down and focused on myself. After watching the supers the day before, I was clenching my fists and gritting me teeth. I was thinking, "I want to lift the HECK out of some WEIGHTS!!!!"

When I was warming up, I was trying to remember that feeling. I had a couple of shakey warm ups but, for the most part, they were good. I opened with 110 and made it easy. Went out for 114, made that easy.

114 Snatch

We opted to got for a competition pr at 117 but I was so excited that I over pulled the weight and missed it behind. (lesson learned: don't yell like a complete idiot and miss the weight)

117 Snatch- Miss

We had a 4 kgs lead after snatches and our plan was to make the Olympic Team and win Nationals. We wanted a 260 total knowing, that it would be very difficult for anyone to knock me out of my number one spot. I opened with 140, made that pretty easy. I don't think I have ever been that nervous during a lift my whole life. I felt butterflies in my whole body!

140 Clean and jerk

The second attempt was at 144. I made a rookie mistake and rushed the lift so much that I pushed it too far forward and had to dump it. This looked like more of a mental thing than it really was.

144 Clean and Jerk-Miss

I sat down real quick knowing I had to follow myself. I had to make this lift in order to make the Olympic Team. I said a quick prayer, "God please give me the strength and courage I need to make this lift. I need this lift to make the team." I went out to clean the weight and I got it to mid shin and was worried I wasn't going to make it. It felt soooo slow. But somehow, I compensated and made the clean and had a good jerk. I secured my number one slot on the Olympic team, and won my fourth consecutive National Championship title.

144 Clean and Jerk

One of the cool things about this meet was that Eleiko wanted to award the winners of all of the weight classes a barbell. Barbells are super expensive and Eleiko bars will last years and years. They are also going to give out cash bonuses to the two women who make the Olympic Team. So I can look forward to some cash and we have another barbell to lift on. So helpful.

The only major disappointing part of the entire meet was how the Olympic Team was presented. I can't speak for Holley, but I felt like I was an afterthought. Making the Olympics is a really, big, freaking deal. I don't need to be showered with gifts or need a parade, but seriously, at least have a separate announcement, or plaques, or flowers, or something to indicate that this was a special moment in our lives.

It should be a moment that is never, ever forgotten. It comes around every four years but, for most, once in a lifetime. Hopefully, our glory day will be when one of us comes home from London with a medal around our neck.


Donloree said...

AWESOME! This is so exciting! Congratulations! WOOT!!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree that it is a big deal. USAW should have made it a bigger deal on their website too. Congrats young lady!!
I'm touched by how openly humble and gracious you are!!
It's refreshing to see, the world needs more people with attitudes like yours. God Bless in London!!

Anonymous said...

I watched the live stream of the Olympic trials and it was SO exciting! Congratulations on making the team. I'm a SHW woman lifter (power, not Olympic) and am thrilled to see two SHWs going to London. Rock on ladies!

Anonymous said...

You did amazing. So proud of you without even knowing you :))! Have a great olympics!

Anonymous said...

Sarah, congratulations on making the Olympic team! I live in Ohio and was there to watch the trials. It was my first time at a live meet and it was so exciting to watch. I just started lifting recently at age 24 and have fallen in love with the sport. You are such an inspiration to other female athletes. Can't wait to watch you compete in London this summer. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Way to represent; congratulations! Pulling for you in London from here in Texas. Stay strong!