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Timpview's top-ranked weight lifter has Olympic dreams

OREM, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Jessie Bradley is the top-ranked youth weight lifter in the country and just won the silver medal at the Youth Pan-American Games in Peru.
OREM, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Jessie Bradley was always into fitness. Already a CrossFit star, she started to take an interest in weightlifting, but didn't even realize it was a competitive sport.

"I never saw myself being a weight lifter," the Timpview High junior said. "So, this is kind of funny actually. I remember telling my mom that I don't want to be a weight lifter. I don't want to lose my neck and get huge. I was terrified of it. But starting weight lifting, I realized that it was a women's sport."

Jessie took to the sport extremely fast. Having competed for a mere six months, Jessie has become the top-ranked under-17 women's weight lifter in the country. She hold multiple state records, sh just brought home the silver medal from the Youth Pan-American Games in Peru, and next month will compete at the Junior World Championships in Russia. 

Her rise to stardom definitely caught her father by surprise.

"I had no idea," said Tom Bradley, co-owner of the CrossFit gym in Orem. "I knew that whatever she would do, she would do well and she would excel. But the thought of her becoming an Olympic weight lifter hadn't really entered our minds."

Jessie has caught the attention of Olympic coaches in Colorado Springs, and has her sights set on the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.

"The coaches at the Olympic training center have indicated that they have their eye on her for 2020," said Tom Bradley. "They would like to continue to work with her. She has a bright future in this if she chooses to pursue it."

Women's weightlifting has been an Olympic sport since 2000. With a personal best lift of 230 pounds in the Clean and Jerk discipline, and 194 pounds in the Snatch, Jessie will only continue get stronger as she grows older. She is already an inspiration the young girls she coaches at the CrossFit gym. Jessie teaches them that strength is empowering.

"I think for a woman, that it's good to know that you're capable of things and your body is capable of things. That confidence you gain, being strong is a good thing."

After competing in Russia, Jessie will prepare to compete at the U.S. Nationals in Salt Lake City in July.

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