Archive for December 30, 2010

“You never know What you’re Gonna get…”

Posted in Articles, Athletes on December 30, 2010 by oldcountrystrong

I’m an Olympic girl, I may not have the best Clean and Jerk or the best Snatch, but I love the lifts, I love the technicality that is involved and for some reason, I’m not exactly sure why, but these have become my favorite in the realm of athletics. Being a history major I had in mind a post for the blog relating to the history of women in weight lifting, upon my quest to write such an article I came across my new idol, my inspiration, and my submission for the week’s edition dedicated to Beasts.

Tara Nott

Height: 5’1”

Weight: 105

Country: USA


Ok so if this name isn’t familiar to you, you are probably thinking, “How is this little tiny thing a beast?” It’s ok I’ll forgive you, but for those of you that love the sport and those of you that claim you bleed red, white, and blue, you should probably know a little more about this miniature monster.

Nott started out as a gymnast, as you probably can imagine judging merely on her size. After missing the Olympic gymnastics team, Nott turned to volleyball, basketball, and soccer. She went on to play college soccer, competed in two National Championships, was an All-American, and she played on several national teams, trained for the Olympic team, but she failed to make the team for the 1996 Games.

Tara despite missing the games in the two sports she had put her life into, landed a job on the Atlanta Olympic Committee just so she could be as close to the games as she possibly could. While in Atlanta she asked a coach what she should do to stay in shape. His suggestion? Weightlifting.

Merely 8 months after diving in to the sport of Olympic lifting, Nott won her first National title in 1996; she would win the national title again in 1997, 1999 and 2000. Nott made the Olympic team for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. Well I’ll let you watch the video so you can see for yourself the outcome.

Winning the Gold for the USA was the first Gold in the Olympics for the United States weightlifting team since the 1960 Games when Chuck Vinci won the Gold.

Did you do the math when the video showed her numbers? Probably not so here they are for you

Snatch: Olympics 82.5kg= 181.9lbs

Clean and Jerk: 102.5kg=225lbs (That’s 13 lbs over double body weight)

Nott however, initially won the silver medal but after Izabela Dragneva (Bulgaria) tested positive for furosemide. Nott was then awarded the Gold medal.

Tara Nott Cunningham, left, gets boost from friend Cheryl Haworth. Cunningham won gold in 2000, Haworth earned bronze. Photo Credit: Hiroko Masuike For The Washington Post.

Ok so cool she won Gold in the Olympics, why is she a beast? Once again I’ll forgive you. You must have missed the part where she trained at the Olympic training center for 3, yes 3, different sports, the ONLY person in history to do so. Tara ended a 40 year Gold drought for the United States weightlifters.

Oh wait one more thing; Nott won Gold with a torn abdominal muscle. After the games she underwent surgery which involved repairing the tear with a piece of Gortex mesh and 21 titanium screws. With a lot of rehab Nott did come back to compete at the International level, placing 10th in the 2004 Olympics, but retired from the competitive aspect of the sport shortly after .


Olympic Champion 2000

Twice Pan Am Games Champion 1999&2003

Olympic Games Team Member 2004

Seven Time World Championship Team Member  1997-1999, 2001-2004

Seven Time Senior National Champion 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002-2004

Multiple All-Time Sr American Record holder in Snatch, Clean and Jerk, and Total

Spotlight: tara nott, weightlifting. (1999, July 2). Retrieved from

Weightlifting exchange. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Posted by: Roo (8 Seconds)