Monthly Archives: June 2012

Gilbert’s Olympic Team Member: Sarah Robles driven to set U.S. weightlifting records

Council Special Meeting

Gilbert Municipal Center, Council Chambers, 50 East Civic Center Drive Thursday, June 28, 2012, 7:00 p.m.

Recognition of Sarah Robles for qualifying for the 2012 Olympics.

Source: – By Roxanna Scott, USA TODAY

As part of USA TODAY Sports’ “100 Olympic hopefuls in 100 Days” series, prospective U.S. Olympians give their thoughts on the Games in their own words.

  • Sarah Robles poses for a portrait at the U.S. Olympic Committee Media Summit in Dallas on May 13.By Jim Cowsert, US PresswireSarah Robles poses for a portrait at the U.S. Olympic Committee Media Summit in Dallas on May 13.

By Jim Cowsert, US Presswire

Sarah Robles poses for a portrait at the U.S. Olympic Committee Media Summit in Dallas on May 13.

Sarah Robles is friends with many of her competitors. But once it’s time to compete, the 23-year-old weightlifter is all business.

Robles said before the U.S. Olympic trials in March, she deleted some fellow competitors from her friends’ list on Facebook.

“I didn’t call them or text them or message them,” says Robles, who trains in Mesa, Ariz. “That sounds very offensive. But I didn’t want us to be rooming together and have one of us make the team, and the other person not. … I didn’t want to be put in that position where there was too much heart invested in each other.”

She went on to lift a personal-best total of 258 kilograms (567.6 pounds) at the trials in Columbus, Ohio, to earn a spot in the London Olympics. The other spot on the U.S. women’s team went to her friend Holley Mangold, who lifted 255 kilograms.

Robles has risen rapidly through the elite ranks of the sport. She gave up a scholarship at Arizona State, where she was a discus thrower, to dedicate her time to weightlifting. She qualified for the 2008 Junior World Championships in her first year competing in the sport. In Colombia, she won the silver medal.

A year later, she was the top U.S. lifter at her first senior world championships. She finished 11th.

Robles also has a friendly relationship with three-time Olympian Cheryl Haworth, whose national collegiate record Robles broke last year.

Haworth is the only American woman to win an Olympic medal in the super heavyweight division of weightlifting. In 2000, she was 17 when she won Olympic bronze in Sydney. That year, American Tara Nott-Cunningham won gold in the women’s flyweight division.

Like Haworth, Robles competes in the super heavyweight division.

I don’t feel any pressure to win a medal. I feel more pressure to just do my best. My coach and I — our opinions are the only opinions that count.

That’s obviously my goal. You don’t go to the Olympics to not come home with a medal.

What keeps pushing me is the goals that I have. I want to break the American records. Snatch, clean and jerk and total. I’ve broken the collegiate national record so I’ve got to work on the other ones too. That would make me the Pan American record-holder. The strongest woman in the western hemisphere. Why not?

Cheryl and I are really good friends. I actually saw her at the Olympic trials. I have deep respect for her and I love her. She’s a really great person. That makes it all the better — to beat her records. She says she wants her records to be broken.

I did a deal with Topps, and I’m on a Topps card. So a lot of the other athletes are going to be on Topps cards as well. I’m gonna take the cards, and if I find the athlete that has the card, I’m gonna have them sign it. I’m gonna feel like such a dork.

If I have tickets, if they give us the ability to watch other sports, I would definitely do so. I always make track and field a priority because I love it. I come from a track and field background. I would love to see taekwondo, judo and those types of things. They have girls that are in my weight class. I would be interested to see big people in other sports. I would like to watch wrestling.

Robles spoke to reporters at the U.S. Olympic Media Summit in Dallas.

Categories: Gilbert Women, Olympic Team Member 2012, Sarah Robles, Weightlifting | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Lisa’s Story – by Linda King, edited by Jackie Mitchard


Lisa Continues to Live in Our Hearts

Survivor portrait by Bravery Project.

What does a domestic violence victim look like?

A poor, weak, down-trodden soul?

Someone raggedy and not very clean?

A person who’s not bright, who cowers in the corner?


Domestic abuse victims are doctors and lawyers and movie actors. They may be beautiful and have wonderful educations. They have only a few things in common – their fear and shame and their futile hope for change. You know them. They are your neighbors. They are the people you see on your walk. They may be you. They may be your child.

One of them was my child.

Lisa died September 1, 2001. Yes, its more than nine years ago, but I can touch that pain as though my heart were a hot stove that still burns.

She was 28 years old, lovely, accomplished and caring, funny and giving and graceful.

She had been abused by the man who was supposed to love her for nine years prior to her death.

Why did she stay? Was she stupid? People always wonder. Why do those women STAY? They don’t realize that months and years of abuse force the belief that a woman is worthless deep inside her, until she believes it herself. She forgets that love is not supposed to hurt. She believes every day it will get better if SHE can be better, if SHE can do more. Abusers like it that way. It gives them power. Hundreds of thousands of woman are like my Lisa. The humiliation, degradation and pain that results from emotional, verbal and physical changes them. They can’t believe that the woman in the mirror is the proud, confident, happy woman they once were. They only want to hide, from relatives, from friends – from the very people who could help them. They don’t want those people to be ashamed of them. It’s a cycle that suits the abuser very, very well. Not only can the abuser strike out, he can do so in secret.

Lisa graduated from college in 1992 and came home to Florida to begin fulfilling her life goals. She hoped to secure a good job, spend time with family and friends, date – maybe find a worthy mate and have a family. She was brimming with dreams. But all of them crashed when she met and began dating her abuser.

In Lisa’s case, as in most instances, the abuse didn’t start with a hit, a push or a shove: It began when he isolated her, subtly and slowly at first, from her family and friends. Someone who truly loves you wants to know your family and hopes your friends will accept and care for him. Abusers want just the opposite. So they start with guilt. After all, if Lisa loved him, she would spend all her time with him, caring for him, loving him alone, meeting his needs As their relationship progressed, he became more and more controlling and manipulative. If she protested even a little, she was punished.

Things changed overnight. The name calling and accusations escalated to a pinch that wasn’t playful. Next came a push or a shove, then a punch – and then suddenly, a black eye and broken ribs. How could she admit to me what she was enduring? I had to see for myself.  I will never forget one morning when I went by her apartment. Lisa opened the door and stood there with a black eye and tears streaming down her cheeks. She confided the truth and I begged her to do what was essential. Eventually, Lisa filed for and obtained a protective order. But her abuser was clever.

Soon, Lisa took steps to drop the charges: He told her how sorry he was and that it would never happen again. Why? How? She wanted to believe that she was loveable; and if she was loveable, of course, he would love her. Her affidavit on the protective order read, this way: “He sat on me for an hour and threatened to tie me up with duct tape if I tried to leave.  He banged my head on the floor.  He blackened my eye and broke my finger.  He told me if I try to leave he will kill me and burn my parent’s home and I know he will do what he has threatened to do.”

As a mother, I wish I had had the knowledge then that I do now.  I would have realized that my Lisa was under a power stronger than her own. I would have done some things differently.  I cannot be sure that the outcome would not be the same, but at least I would have had the tools to intercede in a more appropriate way. Let me give you the most important ones.

Over the past nine years I have come to understand and empathize with women who are caught up in this cycle of violence. Through this understanding and education and awareness we can be better prepared to first stop and then fix the hurt.

First and foremost, LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN to your sisters, friends, relatives, and co-workers.   Do NOT tell them it will BE OKAY, because it won’t, not without help.  This doesn’t “get better with time.”

Each time I speak to a group, I am approached by five, six or ten people who want to talk to me about someone they know is a victim. Maybe they are talking about themselves.  Maybe they are talking about their children.

Talking is the first step toward breaking the cycle.  There are many other steps and many resources.  In our Fix the Hurt website, you will find a section labeled “What You Can Do To Help.”   Be supportive, educate yourself and listen, listen, listen. And no matter how charming the abuser may seem, when you listen, believe.

Categories: Domestic Violence | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fix the Hurt – Mesa, AZ


. . .one hundred and twenty five years ago, a doctor and lawmakers teamed up to make it a crime for a man to abuse his wife. One hundred and twenty five years later, Domestic Violence is still increasing.

For years we have been fighting the Domestic Violence battle. Tale, after tale, after tale are told by those who work to end domestic violence. We tell people the stories, they are appalled, they are impressed, and they go home and forget. This normal human tendency has caused continuous frustration for people working to save victims and bring awareness about this important issue.




Linda King and her husband, John King, launched Fix The Hurt as a platform for creating impactful educational and training programs and artistic performances that engage audiences so they do not return home to forget what they have seen but instead are empowered to help in preventing and reducing domestic and dating violence.

Our Mission

Increase awareness of domestic and dating violence through education, training and performing arts in order to significantly reduce the number of abused.

Our Vision

Become nationally implemented as an effective educational program for the prevention and reduction of domestic and dating violence.

Categories: Domestic Violence | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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