Team USA weightlifter Kate Vibert has already made a name for herself in international competition. The 20-year old had a dominant 2018 that included her taking home first place at 2018 USAW Junior National Championships (63 kg) and 2018 USAW National Championships (69 kg). She set two world records at Juniors that were previously held by her teammate Mattie Rogers.
We caught up with Kate in her quest to dominate 2019, her path to weightlifting, her appendectomy recovery, and more. Read the interview below!
KC: You've said before that CrossFit led to your love for weightlifting, but what led you to CrossFit? What was your athletic background prior to both CrossFit and weightlifting?
KV: Crossfit was the first sport I gravitated to after I quit gymnastics after 11 years in the sport. I was very competitive and had goals of becoming an NCAA D1 gymnast. I decided to end my career after a knee surgery that left me feeling like I wasn't happy in the sport. I gained a lot of weight and decided to do Crossfit to lose weight. I also tried out for the dance team at my high school, and I did that for about two years before committing to Crossfit and weightlifting, and later just weightlifting.
KC: Being only 20 years old, how have you dealt with all of the success you’ve been having so early into your career?
KV: Being a college student and handling a professional career in weightlifting isn't always easy, but it truly is a blessing! The most important thing to me is that I stay grounded and remember what's most important-my loved ones, my passion for the sport, and my education. At only 20 years old, I am able to support myself through weightlifting-I can't complain!
KC: How does it feel to stand on top of podiums while representing our country and wearing red, white, and blue?
KV: When I medaled at Junior World Championships last year, I was overwhelmed with pride and joy. To be able to represent the country I love and hold the American flag on an international stage is truly one of my most treasured memories. I hope to be able to do that again and make everyone at home proud.
KC: You recently had an appendectomy. How were you able to stay focused mentally and physically during your recovery?
KV: The appendectomy I had was a very trying time in my life. I had been in the middle of my best lifting progress when it happened-so I felt incredibly let down that I couldn't keep that up. During my recovery, I just kept reminding myself that all I can do is my best, anything less would be a waste of time. I committed to my coach's plan, stayed positive, and let the hard work speak for itself when I went to the American Open Finals.
KC: Who has been the most influential person/group so far in your weightlifting career?
KV: My family has undoubtedly been by my side throughout my career and they always will be. With that being said, I truly feel I could not have the same amount of success without my coach, Josh Galloway of Team Hercules. His expertise and the mutual respect we have for one another have played a pivotal role in my development as an athlete.
KC: You had an incredible 2018. How do you plan on topping that in 2019?
KV: This year I plan on establishing myself as a strong, dependable lifter for Team USA as both a junior and senior. I made my first team at the senior level for Pan-American Championships and I hope to do well for my team! I also am aiming to improve upon my performance from last year's Jr. Worlds. This is my last year as a junior so I really want to end on a great note before joining the ranks with the big dogs!
KC: What does Kill The Quit mean to you?
KV: Kill the Quit is an awesome motto. To me, it means that no matter how many things go wrong-physically or mentally-you need to stay committed to your plan and never quit. This is essential in the pursuit of an elite athletic career, as there have been many instances in which there was nothing I wanted more than to quit, but knew I had to carry on in order to achieve my dreams. I live to "Kill the Quit" every day in the gym, and in life.