UTC exercise science major Olivia Reeves will compete in the 2022 International Weightlifting Federation World Championships held in Bogota, Columbia
photo by courtesy of Olivia Reeves
When she's staring down at more than 200 pounds of cast iron—sometimes more than 300 pounds—she's going to lift above her head, Olivia Reeves gives herself a vote of confidence.
"I do this every day. I do it, so there's no reason that I can't do it on this day," Ms. Reeves, a sophomore at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, tells herself.
On June 29, the 19-year-old did that to the tune of setting new American records in women's weightlifting. In the snatch competition, she lifted 242.5 pounds.
In the clean and jerk, it was 304.2 pounds.
Ms. Reeves, who lives in Hixson, is now ranked No. 1 in the United States in the two categories, the only ones in competitive weightlifting. A chance to be in the 2024 Olympics looms Monday, Dec. 12, when she competes in the 2022 International Weightlifting Federation World Championships, held in Bogota, Columbia.
"It's the first competition for athletes that will start the Olympic qualification," said Ms. Reeves, majoring in exercise science at UTC.
A fast talker who exudes confidence, Ms. Reeves said any worries about making the Olympics are at a minimum. At least right now.
"It doesn't really seem real right now, so I don't feel the pressure, but maybe after World (Championships) it will," she said.