7-Year-Old Girl Can Deadlift 176 Pounds

Rory van Ulft, a 7-year-old Canadian gymnast, has been raising eyebrows with her weightlifting achievements, recently becoming the youngest Youth National Champion in history. She took up weightlifting two years ago as a way of becoming stronger. She began with gymnastics, but learned she could get injured doing certain things if she wasn’t strong enough. To increase her strength, she began lifting weights in the snatch and clean-and-jerk styles under the careful supervision of a trainer. Rory gradually developed her strength to the point where she can lift weights that some adults would struggle with. She can snatch (lift the barbell from the ground to overhead in one continuous motion) 70 pounds; clean-and-jerk (raise the barbell to shoulder height, hold it momentarily, and then thrust it overhead) 92 pounds; and she can deadlift (lift the barbell off the ground to the level of the hips before placing it back on the ground) 176 pounds using an Olympic women’s bar. The mere thought of a 7-year-old girl lifting weights several times her body weight is controversial, with many pointing out the risk of injury she's is exposed to, but both Rory's family and her coaches disagree, claiming that she has both a family doctor and a sports medicine pediatrician looking after her, and that her coaches never load her with excessive weights. Achieving proper technique in order to avoid injuries is also key in her training regimen.