Kate Nye competes at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 1, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
Kate Nye once envisioned a future in which she’d compete at the Olympic Games in gymnastics.
On Sunday evening at the Tokyo International Forum, her Olympic journey brought her to the medal stand, but in weightlifting.
The 22-year-old from Oakland Township, Michigan, won the first-ever U.S. silver medal in the women’s light heavyweight classification, currently 76 kg. Nye lifted 111 kg. in the snatch to set a new American record and 138 kg. in the clean and jerk for a total of 249 kg., another American record. Ecuador’s Neisi Patricia Dajomes Barrera won gold with a total of 263 kg. and Mexico’s Aremi Fuentes Zavala won bronze with 245 kg.
Nye is just the fourth American woman to medal in the sport at the Olympic Games, joining 2000 gold medalist Tara Nott and bronze medalists Cheryl Haworth in 2000 and Sarah Robles in 2016.
The former childhood gymnast came to weightlifting by way of CrossFit as a teenager and quickly showed promise in the sport. Three years later she made her junior world championship debut and won silver in 2018. Then in 2019 she became the youngest-ever U.S. women’s senior world champion at 20 years old competing in the non-Olympic 71 kg. class. She was also diagnosed with bipolar II disorder that same year, and has been outspoken about her diagnosis and become an advocate for mental health.
Heading into the Games, Nye posted a training video to Instagram, writing, “Not my best clean and jerk by any means but I was crazy emotional this entire training. My last big day (tomorrow is just squatting and jerking and what not) at home and I just felt incredibly grateful for this entire journey. I’ve been through so much since I embarked on my journey in this sport in 2016 and it’s surreal that I have somehow earned a spot on this Olympic team.
“There were some beautiful days, days where I wanted to quit, days that I had some very serious doubts about my abilities. But they all have contributed to this once (maybe twice) in a lifetime opportunity that I do not take lightly.”
Want to follow Team USA athletes during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020? Visit TeamUSA.org/Tokyo2020 to view the medal table, results and competition schedule.