What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?

As I walk on stage in front the hundreds of spectators, my heart starts to race. I can feel the roughness of the chalk covering my hands as I stand in front of the barbell, ready to lift it overhead. The silence and anticipation from the audience is deafening. However, the stage lights offers a blinding peacefulness as I gather myself and recall all the hard work it took to reach this point. I take a deep breath, bend over as I grip the barbell, and lift.

One question that people always ask me, a national-level olympic weightlifter, is: “So, you just lift weights?” No, I do not just lift weights. Olympic weightlifting is a much more complex and intricate sport than one may think. It tests the absolute limits of each athlete as well as the technical prowess required to lift the weights most efficiently. I see it is as the most beautiful sport -- the perfect combination of brawn and brains. Thousands hours of time put into training, with each session I breaking my body down and rebuild it stronger. The feeling of accomplishment that surges through my body when I am on stage makes all the sacrifices worth it at the end.

Dedication and commitment are the most valuable lessons I have obtained from my journey in weightlifting. Any...

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