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Three who train at Atlanta area gym named to USA Olympic weightlifting team

One of the trio, Kate Nye, was the world champion in her class in 2019.

ATLANTA — The U.S. Olympic weightlifting team named its provisional eight-person squad for the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday, and three of them have ties to an Atlanta area gym.

Kate Nye, the 2019 world champion in her class, Jourdan Delacruz and Harrison Maurus all train at Power & Grace Performance in Suwanee. 

All three will head to Tokyo this summer as first-time competitors at the Olympics, but with impressive pedigrees built over the last few years.

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Nye is the current world title-holder in the 71kg (156.5 pounds) class after winning gold in Thailand in 2019. There were no world championships held last year. 

She also won gold for the 71kg weight class at the 2019 Pan American Championships in Guatemala and bronze for the 76kg weight class at the 2019 Pan American Games in Peru.

“I don’t think you can excel at anything without being emotionally invested in it. I’m not just emotionally invested in weightlifting, it’s my life. It’s my purpose, and everything I’m doing is to ensure I’m the best lifter I can be," she said in a statement provided by USA Weightlifting.

Nye, only 20 when she won the world title and now 22, set the junior world record in the snatch for her class at the 2019 World Championships. 

Delacruz heads to Tokyo after winning gold medals in two recent competitions - one for the 49kg (108 pounds) class at the Pan American Championships held last month in the Dominican Republic and one for 49kg at the International Weightlifting Federation World Cup event in Rome, Italy in January 2020.

She said that "representing Team USA at the Olympics is going to be such an honor... it feels like all the hard work and sacrifice being wrapped up with a little bow.”

Maurus won bronze in the 77kg (170 pounds) class at the 2017 World Championships when he was just 17 years old. He also won bronze in the 81kg class at the 2019 Pan American Games.

“I think it’s every athlete’s dream to represent their country. I’ve put a lot of time into this, almost nine years working in this sport," he said. "Being named to the Olympic team is validating all the work that I’ve done and things I’ve accomplished to reach this ultimate goal.”

USA Weightlifting said the team would conduct a pre-Olympics training camp in Hawaii before departing for Tokyo. They'll be looking to build on a bronze medal won by Sarah Robles - who is back with the team for the Tokyo Olympics - in Brazil in 2016. That had been the first U.S. medal in weightlifting since Tara Nott won gold in 2000.