Best Strong(woman) (2012)

Sarah Robles, U.S. Olympic Team

We loved the 2012 Summer Olympics — mainly because we found out about so many incredible athletes in our midst. Athletes who compete in off-the-radar sports like women's weightlifting. We're talking here about Mesa's Sarah Robles, who's not going to ring up the endorsement deals of beautiful gymnast Gabby Douglas but who's distinctively the strongest woman in America. Robles was featured on an Olympic broadcast as the other kind of Olympian — the kind who labors in obscurity and had to scrounge up the money to make it to London.

She admits that at 5-10 and 270 pounds, she lacks the body type to be a media cutie-pie. Still, she strains to be the best at what she does — which has come at a sacrifice. She said on the broadcast that she was living on less than $400 a month during the months preceding the Olympics. Robles' distinction as America's strongest human without a Y chromosome came because of her three national championships in women's weightlifting. She was one of two U.S. ladies to compete in the London Olympics. She finished seventh in the her weight class (Chjna's Zhou Lulu won gold). How much poundage can this gal lift? Well, the sport is scored with two lifts, the "snatch" and the heavier "clean and jerk." Robles' personal-best total, which she achieved at the latest U.S. Olympic trials, was 569 pounds. Wow!


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