Beaufort’s very own weightlifting champion, 17-year-old C.J. Cummings, was recently put in the spotlight of a Vice Sports series: “The 16 Project.”
The series focuses on teenage athletes who are shaking up the sports world with their accomplishments. Cummings’ video profile was published on Oct. 31.
“Tucked away in a small gym in Beaufort, South Carolina, a young weightlifting phenom trains day in and day out,” Vice Sports wrote about Cummings. “Considered by many to be the future of USA Weightlifting, CJ Cummings is working to end the U.S.’s 33-year medal drought in men’s weightlifting. He’s broken over 45 weightlifting records in a sport where most men don’t peak until their late 20s or early 30s, and he’s only (17 years old).”
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Cummings recently earned two gold medals in Japan in June where he successfully defended his International Weightlifting Federation Junior World Championship title, The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette previously reported.
His championship streak began in June 2016 at the Junior World Championships in the country of Georgia, where he became the first American to break a world youth record, and the first in 22 years to break a world record. He went on to win the 2016 IWF Youth World Championships in October in Malaysia and defended his Youth World Championship in an April competition in Thailand.
In May 2016 at the U.S. Olympic trials in Utah, Cummings finished shy of a longshot goal of becoming the only American male weightlifter at the 2016 Olympics. His long-term target is now the 2020 Olympics, which will remain the ultimate focus as Cummings prepares for other meets and his daily duties as a student at Beaufort High School.