MASON, Ohio -- Olivia Sulek has always been an "overcomer," coach Nic Simpson said. The 14-year-old Mason girl, who can deadlift 275 pounds and recently claimed a top prize at the global CrossFit Games, has a work ethic and focus that would be impressive at any age.
"When you give her a directive, she tries her absolute hardest," Simpson said.
That hard work earned her a gold medal proclaiming her one of the fittest teens on Earth at the CrossFit Games in early August. She beat 1,600 girls in her age category from all over the world to snag it.
"I am the 2018 Fittest 14-15-year-old on Earth," she said, then laughed. "So weird to say that."
It isn't weird to Simpson and those who have watched her three-year journey toward CrossFit stardom. Sulek began CrossFit training in 2015 to improve her form in gymnastics and quickly discovered an aptitude for the mixed fitness regimen. After 18 months, she switched to CrossFit full time and set her sights on competing in the annual games.
Clearly, it went well.
Sulek said her journey has made her strong in more ways than one and shown her the power of perseverance.
"If you put your mind to anything, you can do it," she said. "I've become so much more confident. My work ethic is so much better."
She plans to continue training just as hard in order to compete again in 2019.