14-Year-Old C.J. Cummings Wants to Become America's Next Great Weightlifter

Tristan ThornburghSocial Media StaffJuly 17, 2014

via The Washington Post

"In all my years I've seen talented kids but nothing like C.J." 

These words, from Dennis Snethen, two-time U.S. Olympic coach and member of the USA Weightlifting Hall of Fame, via Brandon Parker of The Washington Post, hold a lot of weight, but if anyone deserves them, it's 14-year-old C.J. Cummings.

Cummings stands 5'2", 136 lbs and will attempt to break an American men's record in the clean and jerk for the 62-kilogram (roughly 137 pounds) weight class at this weekend's senior national championships in Salt Lake City.

While C.J. is focused on this weekend, he has one eye on the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. C.J. hopes to become the first American lifter since 1992 to medal, and from the sound of it, he has all the ability and drive to do it.

According to Ray Jones, Team Beaufort weightlifting club coach, Cummings is destined for greatness.

"He trains hard, and he does all the things I ask him to do, but you really can't concretely say why he does what he does," Jones said, per Parker. "He was just given a gift from God to do special things."

But at just 14 years old, if he doesn't break records this weekend, there's still hope for the future, according to Phil Andrews, the director of events and programs for USA Weightlifting.

"Is it great if he beats the record this weekend? Absolutely," Andrews said, per Parker. "If not, he’s got all the time in the world to break it. The real prize is the Olympic Games."

[The Washington Post, h/t Sports Illustrated's Extra Mustard]