Canadian weightlifter Maude Charron has been preparing her entire life for what became her gold medal moment at the Tokyo Olympics — just not quite in the way one might expect.
The Rimouski, Que., native once had dreams of becoming a circus performer and competed as a gymnast for most of her childhood. She then transitioned into crossfit before a coach introduced her to her current sport, which she has been practicing for six years now.
That may not sound like the typical journey for a future Olympic champion who managed to lift 131 kilograms over her head. But Charron doesn’t regret any of it.
“Every aspect of it helped me to achieve that moment,” she told Global News over Zoom from Japan. “I’m glad of my weird road to here.”
The 28-year-old finished first in the women’s 64-kilogram competition Tuesday after a successful lift of 131 kilograms on her third and final clean and jerk attempt.
Charron also had the highest score in the snatch phase, lifting 105 kilograms, contributing to a combined total of 236 kilograms. Her excited and tearful reactions to her win and at the medal ceremony were widely shared on social media.
Two days later, Charron says she’s still processing the emotions she felt upon securing her win and getting to hear the Canadian anthem from the top of the podium.
“My grandma wished me once to sing the anthem, and now I just sang it on the Olympic podium,” she said.
“So many things happened in my head during that. I still have chills, and it’s still hot here (in Japan), but yeah, a lot of emotion that I still cannot process.”