Kaitlain Link isn't your average 18-year-old girl.
While most graduating seniors enjoy their summer vacation, spend evenings with friends and look forward to college, Kaitlain has just returned from Lithuania with a gold medal at the World Bench Press competition.
Again - not your average 18-year-old girl.
Kaitlain spent four wildly successful years as a power lifter at Cushing High School, where she won multiple State and National titles, set regional records and blew away nearly all competition. Now, her impressive strength has taken her to the world stage where the wins keep coming.
"As a freshman, I'd always think ‘that will be me one day,'" Kaitlain said. "And to know that I've put the hard work and the dedication into doing that is really big. As a freshman I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I thought it was just going to be a hobby, but I was really good at it."
So good in fact, that Kaitlain has accomplished all of this completely self-trained.
"After finishing 2nd at State my sophomore year, my [high school] coach quit. It devastated me because he didn't stick with me," Kaitlain said. "So I basically trained myself. I was in the weight room two hours a day, every day of the week - just sweating and in tears because I didn't know if I was doing anything right."
Kaitlain, with the help of herself and herself only, wound up taking 1st at State her Junior year, broke the squat regional record with 315 pounds and qualified for World's in Poland.
Still coachless, Kaitlain went undefeated in competitions her Senior year this past season, took 1st in State, won gold at Nationals and won the Bench Press title at the World Competition in Lithuania.
"It's such a blessing to know I've come all this way," Kaitlain said. "most people don't know how big of a deal it is. I've put so many hours into the weight room that I could have spent hanging out with friends, but it's been such an honor to be one of eight kids to compete worldwide."
Kaitlain, a member of the US National Team, will attend the University of Texas next fall.
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