Sophie McKenna worked full-time as a detention officer, but was still able to qualify for the Five Rings Games in Tokyo.
At the IAAF World Championships in Doha last year, 26-year-old Sophie McCain did something that no British woman could do in 36 years to advance to the finals of a weightlifting competition. In the qualifiers, his score of 18 meters 61 centimeters was a singles climax for him, pushing him not only to the World Cup Finals but also to the Tokyo Olympics, where he was above the level of the five rings. He ended up behind his playoffs in the final, where he finished 11. The Norfolk athlete’s grandfather was a professional footballer, who had also appeared in Norwich City, initially opening his wings in another field of athletics, to start his career as a runner. He won numerous medals at the provincial and local levels, but soon realized he would not have a chance to storm the global elite as a short distance runner. He was thirteen years old when his mother convinced him to be a weightlifter.
“As a typical teen, I said I definitely wouldn’t do this.”
She remembered McKenna, who later changed her mind. Eight weeks into his first installment, he finished second in the National Championship in his age group and quickly realized he could take a lot. In 2011 he placed second in the World Junior Championships and then also won the silver medal at the 2013 European Junior Championships. He has now proven himself an adult, becoming an outdoor champion in his home country in 2019 and again this year. After qualifying for the Olympics, the British Athletics Association offered him $ 15,000 – plus full medical and training support – to fund his preparations, but McCain did not accept this because he did not want to be an elite professional athlete and give up his normal life. Until March of this year, he worked full-time as a detention officer at the Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Center.
“Every day is different, you just don’t know what to expect. I really enjoy the job, it helps me distract my thoughts, and I don’t always focus on athletics. If I was a professional athlete, then every day would be almost every day for me and I don’t think I can handle that.”
“Basically, I deal with detainees who come to us while their case is being processed. My job is to provide care for them and make sure they are well.”
Although there is a busy schedule, two exercises a day are still fit, including weight training, weightlifting, cycling, running and jumping. In addition to police work and training, he had time to hold sessions for budding young athletes.
“Before training on Monday, I help out with small group work. Then some people stay longer and watch me shoot. It’s a pleasure to lift weights and also be able to help others.”
Originally, McKenna planned to remain in police custody despite the Olympic preparations, but he reconsidered his thoughts due to the coronavirus pandemic. He hasn’t worked for the police since March, but he wants to return after the Olympics.
“I decided to quit my job and focus on my sports career and the Olympics.”
– It was formulated and also indicated that in this way the risk of developing disease can be reduced.
“It was painful to know the Olympiad was postponed, but I think I have more time to move forward. Sport is very important in my life, but for people who have lost their lives, their loved ones are more important than whether or not I can lift weights.”
Saeed Makina can’t wait to travel to Japan because he loves learning about different cultures.
“That’s why I’m looking forward to seeing what the country looks like, even though I’m primarily focused on the Olympics and racing. I don’t really like sushi, but I’ll try it anyway.”
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