We’ve been following Tyera Zweygardt’s journey to the international stage, and now she is on a mission for Youth Nationals!
Mission Tackle Youth Worlds 2015 was a success!
I always describe Olympic weightlifting in my life as some sort of metaphorical journey. On this journey, I encounter a multitude of experiences where I exhibit growth, and discover new, exciting opportunities for myself. I was lucky enough to discover the Youth World Weightlifting Championships, where my figurative journey transformed into an actual international adventure!! Fortunately, this was one of the first trips where USAWeightlifting decided to fund all competitors, so, luckily, I was not faced with financial impediments. However, while this specific gift mimicked a certain athletic elitism, the experience did not emulate what the Olympics appears to be on TV or in magazines. I expected to be surrounded by intensely serious people who only ever talked about lifting, and did not care to have fun. Upon arriving, I realized my prediction couldn’t be more incorrect! Surprisingly, I found myself neighbored by kids just like me. They went to school, they had friends, and they were just as honored to be at Youth Worlds as I was. Plus, they loved to have fun.
I felt human. Every time I turned my head, I noticed groups of athletes from all over the world laughing together, and preparing themselves to take the stage. Every time I walked into a new room, I listened to the rhythtm of a multitude of different languages. Every time I sat down to eat, I witnessed different cultures coalesce. I realized that I was a component of the world’s Olympic weightlifting melting pot, and that we were all truly one large family. Everybody was there for the same reason. Everybody shared one goal, that is, to lift as hard as they physically could.
Now, for the actual competition aspect of the trip, the sensation of standing alone on the international stage is truly ineffable. At this time, I felt like an Olympic athlete. All of the aforementioned seriousness I anticipated finally debuted. In those few moments before performing the lift, I became engulfed in the overwhelming combination of gratitude, gumption, and grit. All of my hard work paved the way to that singular moment, and I stood there fully prepared to give it my all.
I wound up achieving three competition personal records in the snatch (69 kg), clean and jerk (89 kg), and total (158 kg) at 63 kg bodyweight. Knowing I employed maximum effort, and now have a new total as my accolade, I couldn’t ask for anything more out of my experience in Lima, Peru at the Youth World Championships.
Soon after returning, I researched the American records for Olympic weightlifting in my age and weight division. I learned that they are currently 78 kg for snatch, 101 kg for clean and jerk, and 172 kg for total. A few months have passed since the world competition. From then on, I have increased my snatch to 74 kg, clean and jerk to 93 kg, and total to 167 kg. I have until December to break these records, and, as I am sure you have guessed, I am more determined and zealous than ever. I feel so incredibly honored to have recognized the opportunities available to me. I am humbled that I am able to share my story. I guess this simply demonstrates where a little hard work, keen focus, and self-confidence takes you.
(Editor’s note: Tyera also graduated from High School this month, at age 16! She has enrolled in college and will begin studying math and finance in the fall!)
Probably the easiest 88 I've ever done. Right after this I hit 91, and a PR 94! 😉 But I forgot to record it! I can't wait for Youth Nationals! #weightlifting #whenlifegetscrazy #girlswholift #olympicweightlifting #usaweightlifting #crossfitweightlifting #cleanandjerk #snatch #fitness #dreambigdobig #doitforthebutt #dominatetheworld #health #pr #protein #lushlegs #likeagirl #lifterface #trainhard #jackedandpale