Oliva Reeves Making International Waves in Weightlifting


Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) One of the strongest female weightlifters in the world hails from the Scenic City, and she’s just a teenager. Recent Notre Dame grad Olivia Reeves competed in the IWF Junior World Championships last month in Uzbekistan. The 18-year-old returned home with one silver and two gold medals. News 12’s Rick Nyman has more Reeves tremendous weightlifting career.

Oliva Reeves started making her mark in weightlifting almost as soon as she picked up the bar.
Said Reeves:”I got second place at my first youth nationals and after that. Did this full time. It has been like six years.”
Said her coach Steve Fauer:”I don’t think she had any hurdles that she had to get over. She just loves the sport. When you love something, you just want to come to practice. You just want to do well.”
And Reeves has done exceedingly well.
Said Fauer:”She has been the strongest pound-for-pound lifter the United States has had the last three years in her age group.”
Reporter:”What’s the most weight you’ve done in these two?” (Snatch and clean and jerk)
Said Reeves:”The most in snatch is 224 pounds and the clean and jerk is 279 maybe 280. Something like that.”
Said Fauer:”She has got a very good vertical jump. An excellent vertical jump. And that lower body power is what is helping her be so successful in this sport.”
Reeves admits she gets in the zone for her competitive lifts.
Reeves:”You go out there, and it’s like a black hole. You don’t remember. You lift the weight. That’s it.”
Said Fauer:”When we were at this championship here in Uzbekistan. The Russians that she was going up against. Uzbekistanian that we were going up against. The coaches were pretty fierce. They were intense. The athletes were intense, and she just smiled. And you could tell she was going to go out there and make her lift the way she smiled. She had just confidence. She loved being where she was. It was her element.”
Being an international weightlifter always makes for great conversation too.
Reporter:”What are some of the questions they pepper you with when you tell them this is the sport that you do?”
Said Reeves:”One are you serious? Two what’s your bench. That’s always like number one and number two.”
There’s no bench press is this sport, but there is a huge benchmark.
Said Reeves:”The goal is the 2024 Olympics. There are a lot of other factors though. They’ll change the qualification process and the weight classes and stuff like that, but that is the overall goal right now.”
Said Fauer:”So right now I think she’s number five in the world in her age group. Now we just want to be number five or number four or number three in the world, regardless of age. The goal right now is the 2024 Olympics in Paris, and I think we can make that. We’re on track to make that, so if we can stay healthy, we should be able to make that.”

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.