weightlifters

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You may have seen the exuberant celebrations of David Katoatau, an Olympic weightlifter competing in the 105-kg weight class for the island nation of Kiribati.

NBC titled their video clip, “Weightlifting makes David Katoatau want to dance.”

But there’s another, solemn reason for his joyful performance. Katoatau told Reuters he wants to raise global awareness of the climate change that threatens to destroy his country. 

Video: NBC, Map: Wikimedia

The Only American Male Weightlifter to Compete at the Olympics Is Vegan. This Is What He Eats…

U.S. Olympic weightlifter Kendrick Farris has been making headlines with his protein-packed vegan diet.

According to The Huffington Post, 30-year-old Farris ditched meat out of respect for animals:

“I don’t necessarily trust the way the food is being processed,” he said. “I don’t agree with the way the animals are mass-slaughtered. So that’s one thing that kind of got me looking at what they call a vegan diet.”

So what does this superhero-like strong man eat?

On a typical day, Farris enjoys a breakfast of oatmeal or pancakes. His staple midday snack is a plant-based protein shake. Before working out, he digs into some avocado quesadillas with Go Veggie pepper jack slices for lunch.

Between meals, Farris snacks on guacamole and black bean chips, and he often has black bean quesadillas for dinner. If he’s still hungry before bed, he sips on another protein shake. He said the key to enjoying delicious plant-based meals is to take whatever you ate before going vegan and modify it.

When asked whether he felt restricted on a vegan diet, Farris said, “I think a lot of people look at things as being restrictions, but that kind of shows me the way they view life. I don’t view it as restriction ― I look at what I can eat, what’s going to be the best source of energy for me.”

The Olympian’s high-protein diet keeps him in top physical condition. He said that he feels lighter, cleaner, and more clearheaded these days.

Farris is not the only athlete to switch to a vegan diet. In fact, he joins a long list of vegan Olympians, including Seba Johnson, Carl Lewis, Ronda Rousey, Cam Awesome, and Venus and Serena Williams.

Join the millions of people who have made the compassionate decision to ditch animal products.

Click here to order our FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide.

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OCTOBER 28 - AMNA AL HADDAD

Years ago, ompetitive lifter Amna Al Haddad quit her job as a journalist to pursue the sport full-time. She is now hoping to become the first woman from the United Arab Emirates to compete in the Olympics, aiming to qualify for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, Brazil.

“I have received the typical comments of ‘belonging in the kitchen,’ that I look like a 'loser,’ and many within those lines,” she stated in a 2014 interview with Ummah Sports“I feel sorry for the way they feel, and it’s a matter of spreading awareness and education regarding the sport. Each one of us has been put on earth to follow our own path, and what I am doing is following my passion and path.”

Al Haddad first began to lift weights to take control of her life and combat her severe depression. She has since become the first woman from the UAE to compete in the Reebok Crossfit Games, as well as the only Muslim woman to compete at the Crossfit Asia Regionals in a headscarf. She has been covered by The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, ESPN and Ray Ban’s Never Hide Films project.

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Reclaiming Fitspo: Hidilyn Diaz

Hidilyn Diaz is a Filipino weightlifter. 

#5 out of 6 children, Diaz was quite young when she was first taught how to weightlift by a cousin. She attended the Universidad de Zamboanga where she pursued a bachelor’s degree in computer science, but dropped out in her third year because she thought it interfered with her training.

Diaz was a wild card entry by the Philippine Weightlifting Association for the 2008 Olympics. There, she was  the first female weightlifter to compete for the Philippines. The 17 year old lifted 85-kg in the snatch and 107-kg in the clean and jerk for a 192-kg total, breaking the Philippine record that she herself set at the 2007 Southeast Asian Games. Diaz went on to be her country’s flag bearer at the 2012 Olympics, and just finished competing in the 2016 Rio games.

Altogether, Diaz has earned one Olympic Silver medal, three Bronzes from international championships, two Silvers at the Southeast Asian Games, and one Gold from the Asian Championships. 

Diaz is also a member of the Philippine Air Force. She was recently promoted to Airwoman 1st Class and honored by the Senate for her noteworthy Olympic performance.

Currently, Diaz plans to return to college in order to pursue a sports-related degree.

Click here to see all #Reclaiming-Fitspo profiles.

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Rim Jong Sim dominates women’s 75kg weight class to win gold 

North Korea has its first gold medal of the Rio Olympics after Rim Jong Sim won the women’s 75-kilogram weightlifting class. Rim was utterly dominant, lifting 117 kilograms in the snatch and 153 in the clean and jerk for a total of 274, way ahead of the 258 managed by Belarusian silver medalist Darya Naumava, or 257 for Spain’s Lidia Valentin Perez.

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