Anyone who says weightlifters all look alike hasn’t taken a peek at this year’s U.S. team. Ranging from 5-foot-nothing to 5-foot-10 and separated by over 150 pounds, these four athletes will blow you away with their strength, drive, dreams, and winning personalities.
Meet Jenny Arthur, Kendrick Farris, Meghan King, and Sarah Robles. You’ll be seeing amazing feats of strength from them over the next two weeks!
Yes, you read that right; Jenny Arthur literally grew up in “Gainesville!” One of eight kids, Jenny is a first-time Olympian. At the 2015 World Championships, she lifted a total of 538 pounds, earning seventh place in her division.
Why we love her: Jenny was recently awarded a full-ride scholarship to DeVry University through their partnership with Team USA. She plans to help change the lives of children through fitness and education.
The sole male weightlifter on Team USA, Kendrick Farris is no stranger to the Olympics: Rio will be his third trip the games, making him one of only eight male lifters in history to do so. He placed tenth in London, and set two American records in Beijing to take eighth place. Now, on the heels of a gold medal at the Pan American Championships, Kendrick hopes to finally step onto the medal podium.
Why We Love Him: He eats pancakes before every competition, and fell in love with table tennis after seeing “Forrest Gump.” He’ll be in the stands cheering his friend, table-tennis Olympian Lily Zhang.
At 5 feet tall and around 105 pounds, Morghan King doesn’t look like a woman who can clean and jerk a 230-pound barbell, but this athlete packs a lot of power into her tiny frame. Morghan proved that at this year’s Pan Am Games, where she lifted a personal-best total of 407 pounds. Ironically, Morghan only got into weightlifting three years ago, as a way to improve her CrossFit performance. Within six months, she was a national champion.
Why We Love Her: Watching this tiny blonde with the sunshine smile throw more than double her body weight over her head is heart-stopping. Also, she likes to put sprinkles in her protein shakes.
After placing seventh at the London games, three-time national champion Sarah Robles is gunning for a medal in Rio. She’ll be competing in the women’s super-heavyweight division (75+ kg), as she has since beginning her IWF career in 2008. After coming back from a two-year suspension for testosterone at the Pan Am Games in 2013, Sarah achieved her personal-best total lift at last year’s World Championship with an impressive total of 615 pounds.
Why We Love Her: Her last tweet before leaving for Rio reads, “I’ll be out of the country for about 20 days. Give me a heads up if apes take over society whilst I’m gone. OK?”