Berkley’s Katherine Nye reflects on her unusual journey to Tokyo Games

‘We thought the Olympics would be canceled’

Berkley resident Katherine Nye started out with dreams of becoming a gymnast, but an injury ended up presenting a new opportunity.
Berkley resident Katherine Nye started out with dreams of becoming a gymnast, but an injury ended up presenting a new opportunity.

BERKLEY, Mich. – The path to Tokyo for many athletes has taken a few twists and turns.

Berkley resident Katherine Nye started out with dreams of becoming a gymnast, but an injury ended up presenting a new opportunity.

The Olympic Games won’t look like the games Nye envisioned as a child, but it’s OK -- the 22-year-old has adapted before. Her journey to the Olympic Games started on a different field, but a knee injury and surgery sent the Rochester native on a different path to Oakland University and Cross Fit to stay in shape.

She said she found a passion for weight lifting and began to compete. Within years, Nye was breaking records and became a junior and senior world champion.

Now she’s a part o the USA Weightlifting Team. Nye was expecting to compete in the Tokyo Games in 2020 before COVID derailed those plans.

“It was heartbreaking,” Nye said.

READ: Tokyo Olympics opening ceremonies will air live in US

When the Olympics were postponed, Nye decided to use the time to get stronger -- mentally and physically.

“I was tested. I thought about quitting at one point,” Nye said. “But I came out the other side stronger and still wanting to be a weight lifter.”

The Tokyo Games won’t look or feel like the ones she dreamed of. The USA Weightlifters will only spend a few days in Tokyo for competition and will not attend the opening or closing ceremonies.

Due to the safety rules, Nye’s parents and husband won’t be able to attend. There’s still a question whether there will be any spectators at all. But Nye remains optimistic.

Nye won her second National Championship in July at an event in Detroit. She’s expected to compete in Tokyo Aug. 1.

READ: More Olympic coverage


About the Authors:

Jamie anchors sports coverage on Local 4 News Saturdays at 6 & 11 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m., in addition to hosting Sports Final Edition.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.