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OU's Kate Nye wins silver medal at Tokyo Olympics

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August 02, 2021

Oakland University student Kate Nye powered her way to the podium on Sunday, winning a silver medal in the women’s 76-kilogram/156-pound weightlifting event at the Tokyo Olympics. 

The 22-year-old lifted a total of 549 pounds, between a 245-pound snatch and a 304-pound clean-and-jerk, to achieve the best U.S. Olympic weightlifting finish since 2000. The total and clean-and-jerk were personal bests for Nye, who has cemented her status as a world-class weightlifter despite entering the sport just five years ago. 

“It feels surreal,” Nye said after the event. “I’ll definitely savor this moment. I’m just so happy. I’m going to celebrate this because it’s a huge win for me.”

In becoming an Olympic medalist, Nye added to her already stellar athletic resume. In 2019, she became the youngest American woman to win a world weightlifting championship, at age 20. She holds nine American records and one junior world record, according to the Team USA website. Earlier this summer, she took first place in her division at the USA Weightlifting National Championships, which were held in Detroit. 

Kate Nye

Kate Nye completes a lift at the Tokyo Olympics.

Nye, a health sciences major and Honors College member, said that attending OU has allowed her to balance academics with a rigorous training schedule.  

“I’m really glad I ended up here because it’s allowed me a lot of freedom in my life [that] I feel like I wouldn’t have had if I went somewhere else,” Nye told The Oakland Post, OU’s student newspaper. 

Nye has also been vocal about her struggles with mental health. After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2019, she became an advocate and encouraged others who are struggling to seek help. Reflecting on her Olympic performance, Nye said the challenges of the past year, including moving up a weight class, switching coaches, and working on her training and mental health amid the pandemic, fueled her drive to succeed. 

“I think all of those trials and tribulations made me the person I am today and I don’t think I would be in that second-place spot without them,” she said. 

Ecuador’s Neisi Dajomes won the gold medal in the women’s 76-kilogram/156-pound division with combined lifts of 580 pounds. The bronze went to Mexico’s Aremi Fuentes, who lifted a total of 540 pounds.

Eric Reikowski, Public Information Specialist, (248) 370-4348

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