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Olympian Jenny Arthur Takes Home Engagement Ring In Addition To World Medals From Thailand

By Todd Kortemeier | Sept. 30, 2019, 12:32 a.m. (ET)

Jenny Arthur successfully lifts 139 kg. in the women's 81 kg. clean & jerk at the 2019 IWF World Championships on Sept. 25, 2019 in Pattaya, Thailand.


It is hard to imagine few things being more memorable for an elite athlete than his or her first world championships medal.

But for Olympian Jenny Arthur, she’ll always remember her trip to Thailand not only for the silver and bronze weightlifting medals around her neck but the diamond ring she received for her left hand. Arthur became engaged to her boyfriend and former competitive weightlifter Norik Vardanian following the IWF World Championships.

“Thailand was good to us!” Arthur wrote in a post on Instagram, accompanying a photo of her and Vardanian showing off the ring. “Just when I thought the trip couldn’t get any better …”

The first part of the trip for Arthur was all business, as she won the bronze medal in the 81 kg. class with a 245 kg. total that included a silver medal in clean & jerk. Those were the first ever world championship medals for the 25-year-old originally from Gainesville, Georgia, now living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Arthur made her Olympic debut at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, finishing sixth. Before finally reaching the global podium she had finished seventh, sixth, fifth and fourth at consecutive worlds and Olympic Games appearances.

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Arthur has a supportive partner in Vardanian who understands the highs and lows of competitive weightlifting. It even goes back generations as Vardanian’s father Yuri was an Olympic gold medalist in 1980 for the Soviet Union. The couple coaches together at Vardanian Weightlifting in Colorado Springs.

Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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Jenny Arthur