Papua New Guinea’s women weightlifter Loa Dika Toua made history Saturday at the Tokyo Olympics, becoming the first woman weightlifter to compete at the games five times.
Her career started at 16, when she became the first-ever female Olympian lifter.
At this year’s games, Toua belted out a scream and smiled at the camera as she grabbed the bar weighing about 368 pounds
“I am so proud of this moment, I hope the young girls in my country follow my footsteps,” Toua told Reuters.
Her Olympic journey has taken her to Australia, Greece, China, Britain. She skipped the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, giving her position to her sister, but financial issues stopped the country from competing that year. Toua placed sixth in the 2004 Athens Games, her highest score.
Who were the flag-bearers?:The two flag-bearers for the US at the Tokyo Olympics has been announced
“You can dream of attending one Olympics, and if you’re lucky enough, you can make it to two. But I’ve made it to five Olympic Games, you don’t even dream about this,” Toua told Reuters.
The Tokyo Olympics will feature several trailblazing women, including Georgian shooter Nino Salukvadze, who will be the first woman at nine Olympics in any sport. Gymnast Oksana Chusovitina of Uzbekistan is defying age and odds as she continues to vault at 46.
Follow Gabriela Miranda on Twitter: @itsgabbymiranda