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Who is ... Sarah Robles

Jim Cowsert

Who is ... Sarah Robles

Learn more about lifter Sarah Robles, who was the highest-ranking American in her sport at the London 2012 Games.

Who is Sarah Robles? 

Once referred to as "the strongest woman in America" by BuzzFeed, Sarah Robles achieved the highest-ranking performance at the 2012 London Olympics: In her constant super heavyweight (75+kg/165+ lbs) division, Robles finished seventh with a 265.0kg (584 lbs) total. She ended 2015 ranked world no. 8 in her category, with a 279.0kg (615 lbs) personal best total lifted at the 2015 World Championships.  

From 2009 through 2012, Robles placed first in her division at the USA Weightlifting National Championships.

Unfortunately, the super heavyweight lifter was banned from her sport from 2013 through 2015 after testing positive for steroids. However, Robles made a strong comeback at the 2015 World Championships. Soon after, she finished first at the 2015 IWF Grand Prix 5th Russian Federation President's Cup with a 278.0kg (613 lbs) total lift.


Sarah Robles was born in Desert Hot Springs, California on August 1, 1988. In high school, she was a shot-putter school whose athletic talents earned her scholarships to several colleges. While training, she would use Olympic weights as a means to improve her track and field performances.

Though she was initially uncomfortable with her body, Robles maintains that her sports participation immensely improved her self-esteem.

She took up weightlifting full-time in 2008.

Competition experience:

Robles has consistently competed in the super heavyweight (+75kg) division. She made her International Weightlifting Federation-recognized debut in 2008, where she finished second at the Men and Women's Junior World Championships. 


Her Pan American Games results are as follows:

2009 Pan American Championships: 5th place, 210.0kg (463 lbs) total
2010 Pan American Championships: 2nd place, 239.0kg (527 lbs) total
2011 Pan American Championships: No official score
2013 Pan American Championships: Disqualified


Her World Championship results are as follows:

2011 World Championships: 10th place, 249.0kg (549 lbs) total
2015 World Championships: 6th place, 279.0kg (615 lbs) total


At the London 2012 Olympics (her first Games), Robles ranked seventh overall. She achieved a 120.0kg (265 lbs) snatch and a 145.0kg (320 lbs) clean and jerk for a 265.0kg (584 lbs) total.

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Top quotes:

"The mental side of training is as important - or more important - than the physical side."

Sarah Robles to

Outside the gym:

Robles is a practicing Mormon. She received an athletic scholarship to Arizona State University and is currently getting a graduate degree from DeVry University.

Her goals are to become a coach, get married and have children.

Additionally, Robles likes eating S'mores, watching "Spongebob Squarepants", reading "Frankenstein" and making jewelry.

Social media:


Meet the other Rio weightlifters:

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