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Meet Pint-Sized Badass Morgan King, America’s Weightlifting Champion

Shapewear Tank Tops Biel ParkleeWith her blonde locks, pleasant smile, and pint-sized stature (she’s all of five feet tall), Morghan King looks pretty sweet and harmless. The 106-pound Olympic weightlifter from Redmond, Washington, however, can lift nearly double her weight. If that’s not totally badass, we’re not sure what is. King, who trains at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, first came to the sport in 2011 after trying CrossFit for the first time and fell in love with it. Just five years later, she’s headed to compete in her first-ever Olympic Games this summer as part of Team U.S.A. “I love the perfection of the sport,” said King, 30. “It’s a never-satisfied feeling because you can always improve your performance.” Here, the Lululemon Elite Ambassador and Rio-bound weightlifter talks about the moment she realized she could actually be Olympic-status good, the music that motivates her, and who she is most excited to meet at the Games this summer.

Arm Shaper What was your first major victory that made you think you might be really good at it?I won my weight class in my first Nationals in 2013, putting me on the World Team that year. I had been lifting for under a year and I knew if I kept at it, I could be great.

How many hours per day do you spend training, on average?On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I am in the gym about six hours over the course of the day, and that doesn’t include seeing my physical therapist and doing recovery. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday are only three-hour training sessions.

What’s your pre-competition ritual?This year I took up meditating—it really helps to have a constant positive self-talk. Most of what makes great athletes is the confidence that they see in themselves.

Do you have any good luck charms or something you always bring with you when you compete?I wear the same bra, underwear, and socks since I first started competing. I also have started to bring good luck charms from my grandparents that have passed to remind me that I always have someone up there looking out for me.

What songs do you like to listen to as you train?I am all over the place when it comes to music, I love everything. I am on a kick of Coldplay’s new album while snatching—it helps me relax, while Sia’s new album helps to get me motivated and pumped for clean and jerk.

Women’s Rugby TeamToggleFor the first time in 92 years, rugby will return to the Olympic games. This year is something of a trial run for the sport; if all goes well in Rio and in Tokyo in 2020, rugby could be added to the official Olympic calendar for years moving forward. Just as it’s a relative latecomer to the Games (the women’s team even more so, still being something of a rarity even in England), so too its stars are relative latecomers to the sport; Jessica Javelet, 31, started her athletic career in field hockey before switching to rugby, while Megan Bonny and Kelly Griffin both discovered rugby in college. The sport is known as “sevens,” a reference to the seven-a-side formation on field and differentiating it from the more mainstream 15-a-side version. Long a mainstay of the athletic world on the other side of the Atlantic, rugby has less of a footing among American audiences — but the nascent U.S. women’s team hopes to change all that.

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