November 10, 2017

A Student With an Olympic Dream

Kai Ronen ‘20

During school hours, she may seem gentle, but after the bell rings, freshman Talia Lloyd’s toughness appears when she is training to become an Olympic weightlifter.
Lloyd, a new student to the Golda Och Academy community, was born in Washington D.C., where she spent most of her childhood. Before she started weightlifting, as a young girl she took CrossFit Kids classes, which helped guide her to a possible future career.
Lloyd is in her fifth year of weight training and has won many medals at national competitions. She has been awarded a silver medal and two bronze medals at U-13 competitions, and this year she will participate against 14- and 15-year-olds. Winning all these medals has allowed her to be considered as a possible candidate for a future Olympics roster spot.
“It’s exciting and I feel empowered,” she said on the idea of potentially competing in an Olympic event.
Lloyd enjoys weightlifting because it makes her feel strong, keeps her motivated and clears her mind of stress. She sets goals for herself to reach, such as making it to the Olympics, which she said she considers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and, therefore, wants to work as hard as she can to achieve this dream.
She has always been committed to training, where she works with her Russian coach four-to-five days a week for up to two hours a day. Lloyd and her coach – who is quite accomplished, himself, having placed eighth at the World Weightlifting Championships in the past – have an unusual relationship; her coach lives in Russia and they only communicate by video chat. The two also need a translator to understand each other because her coach cannot speak English.
Although she works out throughout the year, Lloyd eats like a normal teenager – only one month prior to a competition does she begin her diet. She said her pre-competition diet mainly consists of “protein shakes and eating salads” and is barred from eating carbs or sugars one month prior to competition. By maintaining a healthy diet, she is prepared for the grueling process of participating in tournaments.
“Sometimes [it is hard to maintain the diet], especially when other people are eating unhealthy or something unhealthy is being handed out,” Lloyd said.
During the month before her competition, she finds it difficult to stay away from snacks that are handed out in school, such as bagels or donuts. On top of that, she selectively chooses which competitions she wants to compete in, so she does not have to worry about dieting during Jewish holidays.
Like any teenager, Lloyd does have her cheat days, although she understands even those cheat days need to be monitored so they don’t become a factor during competitions.
“I usually like ice cream or something really bready or high in calories,” she said.
By going to the Olympics, Lloyd would not only bring herself and her family pride, but she would become one of the first GOA student to participate in the Olympics – a feat that would bring her community pride, as well.

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