ATLANTA — Kate Nye helped Team USA capture the nation's best weightlifting result at the Olympics in 21 years, taking silver in the women's 76-kilogram event Sunday in Tokyo.
In addition to the gym the three Olympians shared as their home base, Nye also trained in basements, garages, scorching hot gyms and even a barn. She let nothing stop her from her Olympic training -- not even a pandemic.
The gym in Suwanee isn't the fanciest nor the coolest in temperature, but Nye said her teammates helped push her to perform her best.
"It's been a great environment for all of us," Nye said. " We really motivate each other and feed off each other's energy."
Tucked in the back corner of a cross-fit gym, Kate Nye, Jourdan Delacruz and Harrison Maurus put in the hours leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. They thrive by challenging each other, like when Delacruz convinced Nye to tackle 330 pounds for a triple -- just two pounds shy of Nye's personal best.
She's fearless when it comes to winning: she wants to win it all. Her goal at the Olympics is to get a gold medal and she's going to do everything it takes to win.
"If I have to do something crazy to win, put in on the bar and let's give it a shot," she said. "I'm kind of one of those people."
As a kid, Nye dreamed of being an Olympian -- but in a different sport. Nye was an elite gymnast for many years. Her Olympic vision began after watching the 2004 Olympic games when she told her mother that she would be an Olympian.
"I'm legally blind in one eye, so I had a lot of problems with beam," she said. "It worked out in the end."
Nye is honored to represent the USA at the Olympics and hopes to make everyone proud. After all, the five-year journey to the Olympics wasn't an easy feat -- seven Olympic qualifiers, two surgeries and a pandemic tried to stand in her way.
The extra year of rigorous training took a hard toll on Nye's mental health journey with bipolar disorder. She said there were lots of struggles last year, both mentally and physically.
"I'm finally in a place where I'm happy and excited; the extra year led me to be where I needed to be all along," she said.
Nye also underwent a weight class change, putting on 30 pounds that leveled her up from 63 kilograms to 76 kilograms. While it was easy to put on the weight, Nye struggled with its effects on her body image.
She used Instagram as a visual diary, detailing her weight class change process, to help others who feel subjected to unrealistic beauty standards. She's said she's most proud of what her bigger, stronger body can do.