As the first Weightlifter to qualify for the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Jenny Arthur can be seen as a trendsetter.
"It was so surreal hearing the words, 'You will be heading to Rio this summer to compete in the Olympics,'" Arthur told NBC Olympics.
Arthur punched her ticket to Rio with a top cumulative score among American weightlifters in the 2014 and 2015 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships. She finished eighth in the 2015 World Championships, hosted by USA Weightlifting Houston, Texas. In April, at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in Salt Lake City, Arthur won the 75kg category with a total weight of 239kg with 104kg in the snatch and 135kg in the clean and jerk.
“She is one of the best lifters that I have met in my coaching,” Smalcerz said to TeamUSA.org. “She is getting exactly what she deserves.”
Thank the Lord for this humbling experience to represent Team USA on the World stage last week! W/ @hasslefreebbc @dkruser85. Thank you everyone for the tremendous love, support and prayers! Everyone who came out or tuned in to support myself and my teammates, THANK YOU. Extremely blessed every day to have coach Zygmunt, my wonderful boyfriend @norikvardanian & encouragement from my gym mates at the OTC. It is such an honor to be a part of Team USA. The journey continues...
That sentiment is echoed at her adopted home of the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
"She's a sweetheart," one person said of Arthur and her presence on the OTC campus.
At 22, Arthur has paved the way for a new generation of Weightlifters. She's won national championships and silver medals at the Pan American Championships and Junior World Championships. She also holds senior and junior American records.
Away from the gym, Arthur is dedicated to her family and her community. She enjoys spending time with her 7 siblings and volunteering at a children's hospital near the Olympic Training Center.
Arthur hopes to continue to improve the lives of childrens once the Games conclude. She was awarded a full-ride scholarship to Devry University. DeVry surprised Arthur on national television.
"I feel my talents are a complete gift from God so my goals are to use them with the best of my ability," Arthur said.
Fueled by her faith and her family, Arthur hopes to add one more achievement to her impressive Weightlifting resume; an Olympic medal.
“I want to podium, I want to have a good experience and I want to live a good life out there (in Rio) and have a good time.” Arthur said to TeamUSA.org.
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