Meet the Metro Detroit woman vying for Olympic gold in the Tokyo Games

Katherine Nye discovered passion for weightlifting when she was 16

While men’s weightlifting has always been an Olympic sport, women were unable to compete until the 2000 Sydney games.

In Tokyo this summer, a Metro Detroit woman is setting her sights on the weightlifting medal podium. Berkley native Katherine Nye said she thought she might make the Olympics in gymnastics.

But when she found weightlifting as a 16-year-old girl she found her true passion and now she’s on her way to Tokyo.

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“It kind of reignited that original dream so I feel like I’m fulfilling, you know, my childhood dream in a completely different way than I would have expected. But that’s life, right?” Nye said.

Nye said that it was her positivity that helped her get through last year, even though the COVID pandemic postponed her Olympic dream.

“I’m just staying hopeful because that’s all I can do right now,” Nye said.

The pandemic also altered how she trains. Currently, she trains in her garage in Berkley. It also changed how she competes, since competitions are still being canceled.

“We have a lot of qualifiers that have been postponed. So, we’re kind of in a sticky situation right now because those qualifiers are continuing to get postponed until very close to the Olympics,” Nye said.

Nye believes she’s done enough. She has a lot of qualification points from 2019 to make the U.S. Olympic team in the 76-kilogram bodyweight category.

“We’re getting really strong right now. I’m working on technique. I’m not doing a lot of heavy lifting with, like, the actual competition lifts. But rather just building a really strong base so that we can improve those real competition numbers,” Nye said.

Nye is currently a college student at Oakland University. She is majoring in health sciences and has a minor in Spanish. She hopes to go to medical school.

Before she pursues medical school, she hopes to win Olympic gold. She has her first in-person competition since the pandemic began next month.

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