Avinash Jawahir stretches before lifting weights on July 29, 2018 at Scouting Camp: The Next Olympic Hopeful in Colorado Springs, Colo.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Family is everything, especially to 19-year-old Avinash Jawahir.
Jawahir grew up in a rough neighborhood in Florida with his family and is determined to provide a better life for them now. He believes that “Milk Life presents, Scouting Camp: The Next Olympic Hopeful” could do just that.
“I decided to apply for my family. We live in a really ghetto neighborhood and I want to get them out,” said Jawahir. “It’s full of crime every day so I want to get them out of there so they can have a better life and my parents don’t have to work so hard anymore.”
Jawahir, who is passionate about weightlifting, saw tremendous opportunity in the United States Olympic Committee’s talent-identification program and knew he had to apply; first and foremost for his family, but also for himself and his passion for sports.
“I always went on the bodybuilding side of things,” said Jawahir. “I wanted to be fit because I was fed up of being bullied for being fat when I was younger. I did weightlifting and I had a great career in it. I was top three in the state of Florida for the 169 lb. class.”
Next Olympic Hopeful is aimed at finding athletes with a background in any sport whose skills could transfer to various Olympic sports. The sports for Season 2 are bobsled, boxing, canoe/kayak, cycling, rowing, rugby, skeleton and weightlifting. One winner was selected for each sport, and the winners will attend camps with their sport in hopes of making the national team and, eventually, the Olympic team.
Even though his passions lie with weightlifting, Jawahir was up for any challenge the five-day combine brought his way.
“Any opportunity I get, I’m going for it.”
For Jawahir, giving up is not an option.
“Every day I wake up with a goal in mind, and I always make sure I do everything possible to hit that goal no matter what,” he said.
Jawahir said the opportunity to represent Team USA as well as help his family is his dream.
“Being an Olympian means representing the quality of all the athletes in the USA, and doing all I can to bring pride to my country.”
It also means a chance at a new life.
“I can start somewhere different and start somewhere new,” Jawahir said. “Just make a new legacy for myself.”
The winners will be revealed during a two-part docuseries airing Nov. 24 at 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN and Nov. 25 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC.
“I want people to know my story,” said Jawahir. “Everybody goes through things that you don’t understand until they explain it to you.”