In late June, Rienna Skelton wore the Maple Leaf proudly as a member of Team Canada at the International Weightlifting Federation’s Junior World Championship in Fiji. I asked her a few questions as a follow up interview from the first article.
Tell me about being a member of Team Canada – about the other athletes and coaches:
Being a member of team Canada was such an amazing experience. Wearing that singlet and standing up on that platform felt so surreal. The coaches and teammates I had were also so inclusive and welcoming. Almost all had had that world experience before, so it was nice to have them there to ask questions and follow around when we didn’t know what we were doing!
Was the experience what you expected?
The competition itself was very similar to all other competitions I’ve been to. Even the announcer was from Manitoba! So it really seemed like we weren’t that far away. I didn’t really get nervous until right before my first snatch, which is why I was smiling so much after I had made it!
What were the highlights?
My favourite part of the trip was just being able to relax by the pool. I don’t do things like that too often, so getting to just chill was something I was definitely looking forward to. The weather in Fiji is very humid, you walk outside and immediately start sweating. It was very hot while training, but just sitting around it was beautiful! Fiji is very lush, so it was always nice being able to walk around and see all of the palm trees and other tropical plants.
I imagine having your friend and family with you was outstanding? Can you describe that a bit?
Having my friends and family there just made it feel even more like home. Without them, I think I would have been much more nervous. Hearing them yelling from the stands definitely helped my nerves, and helped me to be composed and ready for the platform.
What was your final outcome?
Everything at worlds is exactly the same as any other competition, nothing changes besides the people! I ended up making 73kg in the snatch, which was my first attempt, and 100kg in the clean and jerk. Neither of those were PR’s, but I was still very happy with my total! I ended up getting 11th overall in my weight class.
Have your goals changed since going to Worlds?
My goals definitely haven’t changed since Worlds. I’m still just working towards getting stronger and better technique for the fall!
Best of luck to you in the future Rienna. We are proud of you and will continue to follow your weightlifting career.