To mark his 18th birthday this month, CJ Cummings graduated high school.
Then his photo landed in the pages of a national publication.
The Beaufort weightlifter was featured in the July issue of National Geographic magazine for a report on how technology and research aid the world's best athletes. The magazine included two photos of Cummings and noted his work with Bob LeFavi, a Savannah health professor and body builder who first captured Cummings' technique with 13 high-speed cameras in 2014.
Cummings, who owns numerous U.S. and world lifting records, has had the national spotlight since before he was a teen — a wunderkind in youth weightlifting circles.
Along the way he has earned his own signature Reebok shoes, line of apparel and other sponsorship deals.
The Washington Post profiled him in 2014 as the country's best hope for an Olympic weightlifting medal in decades. CBS News dubbed Cummings the LeBron James of his sport, and ESPN more recently heralded Cummings as a virtuous athlete who could help lift a sport tainted internationally by doping scandals.