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Good News: Cheryl Haworth to serve as color commentator for Tokyo Olympics

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 2:18 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - She competed in three Olympics and earned a bronze medal in 2000. Now, Cheryl Haworth is building upon her image as one of the most prominent athletes to ever come out of Savannah.

It will be mostly busy work for Haworth these next few weeks. Making mental notes of things already set in her mind; studying a sport she knows inside and out. Preparing for a job she was born to do - which is to just be Cheryl Haworth.

“It really just comes down to being excited about weightlifting, being excited about the Olympic Games and knowing too much in my head about weightlifting that wants to come out and I can’t stop talking, so I think it will be a really, really good fit,” Haworth said.

The three-time Olympian from Savannah is still arguably the biggest name there has ever been in U.S. women’s weightlifting. And now that image is taking her where her ability so often did, back to the Olympics as the color commentator for weightlifting during the Tokyo Games.

“It’s a dream job. It is exciting and I get a front row seat to watch these athletes compete. I’m just going to try to learn as much as I can. Learn as much as I can, relax. I want America to love weightlifting as much as I do by the time I’m done with it,” she said.

Haworth thought she was done with weightlifting shortly after leaving Savannah for her final Olympics in Beijing in 2008.

“It was really the last thing on my mind. I wanted to do other things with my life,” she said.

But she began coaching, started the Official USA Weightlifting podcast and has announced at weightlifting meets.

“It’s my favorite thing to do, to get the microphone and see where the moms and dads are who don’t know what’s going on and kind of walk everyone through it” she said.

And that is how she sees her role during the Olympics, to share a perspective and experience she accumulated through three decades in the sport.

“I like to think of myself a teacher of weightlifting. I really like digging into the technique, even our elite weightlifters. Because there is something about being in the experience, having the competition experience. Really, they want the energy, they want the excitement about weightlifting and the want sort of that vehicle if you will between somebody who spent their whole life doing it and somebody just being introduced to it in their living room,” Haworth said.

So, in the time before the Games, Haworth resumes a new type of Olympic training and waits to be re-introduces to American fans.

“Massive amounts of research going into the Games. When we say things out loud on the air, you know, you want to make sure that it is not wrong. The closer the date gets, the more anxious I feel. And by anxious, I mean that pre-competition anxiety, the good anxiety, the butterflies in the stomach. Because if you do not have that, you know you don’t really care. That feeling is taking over slowly. And I am going to feel it in the air for sure, it’s electric even being thousands of miles away,” Haworth said.

Hayworth will actually be covering the Olympics remotely from Connecticut with most of the Olympic broadcast team. But she hopes to do this job more than once and be back at an Olympic weightlifting competition in the future.

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