With her weightlifting accomplishments, Rory van Ulft, a 7-year-old Canadian gymnast, has raised eyebrows, recently becoming the youngest US Youth National Champion in history under the age of 11 and under the age of 13.
As a means of being stronger, Rory took up weightlifting about two years ago. She had started doing gymnastics but had found that if she was not strong enough, she might get hurt doing such activities.
Under the close guidance of a trainer, she began lifting weights in the snatch and the clean and jerk styles and eventually increased her strength to the extent where she now lifts weights that other adults would actually struggle with.
Using an Olympic ladies’ pole, she will snatch 32kg, clean and jerk 42kg, as well as squat 61kg, and deadlift 80kg.
“I hated it when she first started,” Lindsay Noad, Rory’s aunt, told CBC. It was so frightening to watch [her] lift those heavy, heavy stuff I could barely lift. “I’m looking at her now, and I’m just thinking, ‘I’m so proud of you! ‘She’s really cool, and she can do great stuff.
The very notion of a seven-year-old girl lifting weights many times her bodyweight is controversial, with many pointing out that Rory is vulnerable to the risk of injury, but both her family and her coaches disagree, saying that she has both a family doctor and a pediatrician of sports medicine looking after her and that her coaches never load her with excessive weights. In order to prevent accidents, achieving proper technique is also important in her training routine.
“Greg Chinn, founder of JustLift Gym, in Ottawa, said, “For myself and a lot of other coaches abroad, even one child injury is too many. “So we never load it with what we would consider maximum weights for a child Rory’s age.”
Last year, Rory van Ulft had eight out of 13 children in the U.S. National Youth Championships, despite being the youngest athlete by two years, and the lightest by nearly 10 kilograms, in the 13-and-under girls’ division.
She made quite an impact, so no one was surprised that she managed to take number one place at this year’s championships.
“Rory is not only the strongest seven-year-old in the world based on her current Sinclair total, but she is probably also the strongest seven-year-old girl or boy who has ever lived, for whom there are verifiable competition results,” the father of the girl, Cavan van Ulft, said.
“Compared to all the national champions in the lowest girls’ developing age and weight categories, which vary from country to country, there’s really currently no one competing better in terms of Rory’s relative strength,” Cavan added.
In this year’s U.S., Rory’s outstanding Sinclair total of 213.738 The National Youth Championship makes her the best 11-and-under pound-for-pound lifter in the U.S.
First and foremost, the 7-year-old, who wears fake, temporary tattoos while competing, considers herself a gymnast but says that as a result of weightlifting, she likes to get heavier, as this helps her to do new things in her gymnastics routines.
“I like to get better. Being stronger helps me to do more and get better at everything I pursue. I’m not worried about what came before, or what’s going to come after. I’m not thinking about anything. I’m just clearing up my mind and doing it,’ she said.