SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Kaiya Bryant, who’s been competing in youth weightlifting since she was 9, is lifting her way to the top — one competition at a time.
Not only is Bryant a women’s youth record-breaker, but she is also a youth world medalist for Team U.S.A. She is also the third U.S. woman to medal in the youth world’s history, which began in 2009.
“It’s a big achievement honestly. Not many people can say they’ve been to some of the places I’ve been. I’m proud of everything I’ve done, the wins and the losses,” Bryant says. “You just have to train, be healthy and be confident because if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.”
Bryant has been competitively weightlifting for close to seven years. She trains at Performance Initiatives, Inc., in Savannah, which is described on its website as “where education meets fitness.”
The nonprofit serves a lower-income area in Savannah and uses weightlifting to help the youth improve academically and in life. It was founded in 2005 by former weightlifting competitor Kerri Goodrich, who is now Bryant’s coach. Goodrich was also a member of the U.S. Women’s Weightlifting National team.
Bryant has plans to someday compete in the Olympic Games and says it may come sooner than later. Until then, she’s giving advice to others who share a similar dream.
“It may be hard when you’re comparing yourself to other lifters, but you’ve got to be confident and if you dedicate yourself enough, you can be in the same spot they are,” she said.
Bryant’s next competition is coming up in August for the Youth Pan American Championship.