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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.


Friday, July 22, 2016

Olympic Trials (Part 2) Finally

     The next morning I went to have lunch with my boyfriend and get some fresh air by visiting Temple Square. We took lots of breaks because I knew I couldn't be on my feet too long. We mostly went just to take some pictures. I rested and went to train and later that night we had dinner, relaxed and watched a movie at his grandma's house then I retired for the evening. I was starting to feel better having some support with me as well as getting food in me and moving some weights around.
     Competition day started out well. I had breakfast and did a very light morning workout snatching 45 kgs for a couple of triples and clean and jerking 65 kgs for a couple of doubles before going back to eat and nap and prepare for the competition that evening. Based on how I was feeling in the morning, I was starting to feel confident I'd put in a decent total and defend my ranking on the Olympic Team.
     Warm ups were feeling actually pretty good in the Snatch. I was doing well and was sticking to plan. I knew we'd have to pull back in the clean and jerks a little as the weight loss and illness were going to effect my leg strength. I snatched up to my last warm up attempt which was 115. Our goal was to open with 188 then go to 122 and 126. This would keep me on track to open within 15kgs of  my declared total, show improvement, and save my legs. I missed 115 in back and there wasn't any time to remake the weight before I had to get on the competition platform. That's not an ideal situation to be in but, I've missed weights in competition and made higher weights before and I've successfully done that in training so I had to rely on my experience to get me through. I didn't feel any panic or worry which was good. I missed my first attempt and tried to correct my technique for my second and missed it again. I've been in this position before where I've missed my first two and had to come back to make one attempt. If I didn't, I'd be out of the competition. Well, I didn't make it.
     After everything I had been through this past quad and knowing what was on the line and the tough competition I was up against, I felt defeated, humiliated, and the most vulnerable I had ever felt in my career. At any moment, I could be usurped from my position on the Olympic Team. All there was to do was wait.
     I went to the bathroom to cry a bit and regain my composure. That only lasted so long. I came back to the warm up area and was ready to pack my bags. I started crying again and my coach came up to me and said, "Are you ready to clean and jerk?" and I said, "What for?" I saw all as lost, and considering the National Championship was off the table, I figured my day was done. My coach had to give me a little talking to and if you know my coach, he can be quite intense. "Because the competition isn't over yet. There are a lot of people that don't want to see you go out there and make those jerks..." he began to step away and turned back to me and said, "But, there's also a lot of people that do."
     So I put my wrist wraps on and got to work. I cried all the way up to 135 kgs and felt kind of dizzy while lifting. It was probably dehydration. We opened with a 146 so I could keep within my 15kgs and I missed it, made it on my second, and finished the day off with 150. Part way through warming up, is when I found out that Morghan bumped me down a spot and we were just waiting to see if Mattie would take my place. She didn't and I felt blessed relief. I don't really know how or why things worked out the way they did this past quad for get me back to the Olympics but, I am very, very grateful and humbled by the experience.
     The Olympic Team was announced, awards were presented, and the opportunity for people to share in the moment with the athletes was presented. It was an amazing experience to be there with my mom, my friends, boyfriend, teammates and competitors.
     This was one of the best competitions I have ever competed in. Phil Andrews, USAW, and all the volunteers and workers did a great jib to make this Olympic Trials truly something special to remember for a lifetime.
     I stayed an extra day in Salt Lake City to actually spend time with my mom and a couple friends. We ate at a delicious waffle place and we went to see some botanical gardens.

Since then...
I have moved to Texas, assembled a great team of people to help prepare me for the Olympics, I live with a friend from church, it's really hot, and I'm excited to get shipped out next week to get ready for the Olympics.

Love, Sarah