Desert Hot Springs’ weightlifter Sarah Robles prepares for Tokyo 2021

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Weightlifter Sarah Robles is a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist. Tokyo 2021 will be the third time this Desert Hot Springs native represents Team USA.

“I’m controlling my thoughts and proceeding with everything I have like the games are going to be happening,” she says, referring to the possibility that the Olympics could be canceled again because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Robles entered the sport of weightlifting as strength conditioning for track and field, which she competed in during high school and at Arizona State University.

“When things didn't go exactly as planned with my track career, I decided to give weightlifting a try for a year. And it ended up turning out to be a success,” she says. A few years later, she was on her first Olympic team. 

Robles doesn’t enjoy the day-to-day training, but competing makes it all worthwhile. “Traveling, meeting interesting people, and hopefully having an opportunity to kick everybody's butt, that's what's fun for me,” she says. “I like winning! Who doesn't like winning?”

Sarah Robles (center) at the 2020 Pan American Championships in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Photo courtesy of Team USA.

Women’s weightlifting is relatively new to the Olympics. It was first introduced in 2000. “But just like with everything else historically, if you actually give us a chance, we'll show you just how good we are,” she says. The women’s team, says Robles, has consistently outplaced and outperformed the men’s team in the past four years. 

“I'm very proud to be a part of this transition in history for women's weightlifting. It's such an exciting time.”