Worth her weight in gold
Not many 15-year-olds can hoist more than their own bodyweight above their head.
But New Zealand under-69kg weightlifter Stephanie McKenzie is no ordinary teenager.
Stephanie’s best lifts include 71kg in the snatch, which sees the lifter raise the bar from the floor towards the ceiling all in one motion.
And she’s cleared 75kg in the clean and jerk, where the lifter rests the bar on their collarbone before the final push to get the bar above their head.
“I like the concentration and the quiet, but then it’s explosive. You get up there and have to beat it and you know you can.” There were school-age Olympians there that know how hard you train.”
Stephanie’s coach Tina Bell says her student has the talent and mental fortitude to go all the way to the Commonwealth Games in 2010.
“It’s not the sort of sport you can rock up and do once a week. She has a lot of natural strength and coordination.”
If Stephanie is able to reach international honours in cycling Ms Bell is confident it won’t mean the end of weightlifting for her star pupil.
“Both sports complement each other, so I guess it would come down to the Commonwealth Games programme.”