Olympic Performer - Cheryl Haworth

Cheryl finished sixth at the 2008 Olympic Games.  She said this would be her final competition.

Cheryl Haworth will be representing the United States of America at the upcoming Olympics in the weight lifting events.  Cheryl was also in the 2000  year Olympics where she won the bronze metal.  She is the current American champion.  Cheryl's family line, back to George is:

Cheryl (her two sisters are Elizabeth, and Kathryn)

Robert Paul Haworth

Robert Micajah Haworth

Homer Bunn Haworth

Micajah Frank Haworth

Thomas Claiborne Haworth

Stephanus Haworth

Micajah Haworth

Stephanus Haworth

George Haworth

(click on the thumbnail to expand the picture)

     

NBC TV's Biographical Sketch of Cheryl

Growing up
As a child, Haworth struggled with chronic bouts with allergies, pneumonia and bronchitis. According to her mother, Sheila, a registered nurse, she ate poorly and was quite skinny. Her health changed, however, at age six, upon having her tonsils and adenoids removed. Shortly after the surgery, Sheila cooked some mashed potatoes and Cheryl devoured them. By age 12, she weighed 240 lbs. Watching her daughter squeeze into clothes, Sheila consulted a dietitian, who recommended a limit of one serving per meal and fruits and vegetables for snacks. One night when Haworth started crying for seconds, her mother decided that the dinner table wasn't going to be a battleground. What no one realized was that Haworth was gaining strength as well as pounds. "I just thought I was getting fat," she says. "I didn't worry about it. I always thought I would grow out of it."

Checking out the competition
Haworth began lifting at age 12. She and some of her slow-pitch softball teammates occasionally worked out at a Savannah gym run by Mike Cohen, formerly the women's U.S. national team coach. Haworth recalls looking around, seeing Olympic-level weightlifters and thinking, "I can do that." She then convinced her father, Bob, to let her train more frequently. Her younger sister Katie briefly followed Cheryl into the sport, and finished sixth in the women's 75kg division at the 2002 Nationals.

Elevating the bar
After Cheryl Haworth won the bronze medal in the super-heavyweight (75+kg) division at the 2000 Sydney Games (where women's weightlifting made its Olympic debut), she became an instant celebrity and the face of U.S. weightlifting. She continued to perform at an elite level until 2003, when she tore two elbow ligaments and missed the 2003 World Championships. The injury lingered through the Athens Games, where she finished a disappointing sixth place. Haworth recovered well, though, earning a bronze medal at the 2005 World Championships. Despite being hampered by back spasms at the 2007 World Championships (where she finished 13th) in Thailand, she headed into the Beijing Olympics on a high note, having just captured her eleventh national title in March.

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updated 26 Aug 2010

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