Plus-sized Olympian Calls for Body Acceptance for Larger Girls and Women

sarah robles, weightlifting, london 2012, team usa, olympics, body image, fat acceptance
Olympian Sarah Robles

Check this out: Sarah Robles, the top-ranked female Olympic weightlifter in the U.S., is on a mission — not just to win gold at the London 2012 Olympics, but to get big girls and women to accept and love themselves. Robles is 5 ft. 10 in. and weighs 275 pounds. She can also lift really heavy shit over her head. This is a woman who could save a baby trapped under a car … by lifting the car.

According to her Team USA profile, Robles was born in 1988 and grew up in San Jacinto, CA. In high school she threw shot put and began lifting Olympic weights in college. Her goals are to “Become a coach, and get married and have kids. Make the 2016 Olympic team, be the best lifter I can be, help guide and inspire future athletes.” Robles told TIME she “was always the biggest kid in the class, and often bigger than her teachers. She was bullied: kids hit her and mooed at her. But by high school, she had found an athletic outlet, and finally felt acceptance.”

Robles says she wants to “show young women that in some sports, size can be an advantage.” And she loves weightlifting. “The lifts are so rhythmic, the movements so purposeful,” she told TIME. “I like the way it makes my body look and feel. I’m healthy on the inside now.”