USA Weightlifter Mattie Rogers held every American weightlifting record in the -69kg weight class before the classes changed last year and she rarely takes breaks from training. But this past week, she needed a break — from social media.
At the end of April, Rogers and team USA competed at the Pan American Championships in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Team USA came away from the event with a historic 43 medals and finished in first place in both the men’s and women’s categories. Rogers was a big part of that as she earned silver in the -71kg weight class.
Despite fighting food poisoning, and still earning a silver medal on the day, Rogers’ was far from pleased by her performance. At the Pan American Championships she hit a 106kg snatch which was a personal best for her in competition at 71kg. She also hit 132kg in clean and jerk for a total of 238kg.
Food poisoning (or something) picked the perfect time to show up during clean and jerks. Pyrros held my hair while I puked between attempts and I can honestly say I gave every ounce of effort I had. If there’s anything I know how to do, it’s fucking fight. https://t.co/iBIzr0HYsG
— Mattie Rogers (@mattie_rogers) April 26, 2019
USA teammate Kate Nye beat Rogers for gold, and had one of the biggest performances of her career earning three gold medals and setting records left and right. In the snatch, she finished with 110kg, which was a new Junior and Senior Pan American and Junior and Senior American record; for the clean and jerk Nye finished with 135kg for new Junior Pan American and American Records. These lifts earned Nye a 245kg total, which is now a Junior and Senior Pan American record and Junior and Senior American record.
Rogers posted the following on her Instagram shortly after her performance.
I wanted to wait until the dust (& my stomach) settled a little before putting my thoughts on social media. Am I proud of my Pan Am results? No, of course not. Am I proud of MYSELF for the fight and effort I gave? Absolutely. You can’t predict missing lifts. You can’t predict getting sick on comp day. You could have the best preparations and still fall short, or the worst preparations and completely surprise yourself.
I can honestly say I gave everything I had on my clean and jerks. I would have never guessed I’d have Pyrros (Dimas) holding my head while I puked between each warm up (I cannot thank you enough Pyrros). But no one sees that on stage. No one cares for that matter. I could have never guessed I’d have missed attempts I’d have to try and make up for. My body wanted to scratch my clean and jerks. My brain would never let that happen.
I’m proud of myself for getting my shit together and going for my attempts with everything I had. For holding my fucking vomit in and putting 140kg on the bar. A number I’ve never touched. And it was damn close. We could have taken a safe jump to secure a 240+ total, but we didn’t. We went for it. And it’s still a 9kg total increase from last years Pan Ams.
For those of you attacking me on every possible level, including those not even weightlifting related, I hope you feel good. I hope it gives you the satisfaction you’re looking for. “Everyone has bad days”, except when you have this many eyes on you & this many people rooting against you, a single bad day gets thrown in your face over and over.
This does nothing but prove to me that I am stronger. I am capable of numbers I haven’t even tried yet. One lift away from doing something great on my worst day, so what happens on my best day? I look forward to finding out.
Since that post, she has been relatively inactive on Twitter on Instagram, despite her huge following of 582K on Instagram and 34.8K on Twitter.
On Sunday, she finally posted on her Instagram for the first time in over a week to detail the stresses she’s been feeling since Pan Ams and to reshare one of the most victorious training lifts of her career, a 300-pound clean & jerk she made off of (pretty darn small) blocks in April. This is the first time Rogers jerked this weight.
I’ve taken the last week to stay away from most social media. With this many eyes on me, it’s to the point where I could have a great day or a terrible day & get shit on regardless. And I know now that I have to understand & accept that. I’ve read some of the worst things that have ever been said about me this last week. All from people who have never met me. Don’t know a thing about me except for what they see on stage.
The biggest suggestion is “oh don’t listen to the haters, so many people support you”, but when the hate is so strong and attacks you on so many personal levels, it’s impossible to ignore. I won’t pretend that it doesn’t suck that the weightlifting community has turned into some disgusting, hateful collection of people. Like it’s a fun game of who can come up with the most hurtful things to say to get some likes and attention. When this is such a beautiful and empowering sport that has helped and continues to help so many people in so many ways.
“Acknowledging them will only make it worse”, fine. Let it be worse for now, so hopefully the next person under this much attention and scrutiny in the weightlifting world won’t experience these same things. There has never been this much exposure of our small, non mainstream sport. It’s growing, & not in the best direction. I was able to make this sport my career because I loved it, I worked at it & I dedicate myself and all my time and energy to it daily. I made a life for myself from this sport. And to almost resent it because of some people I don’t even know? Absolutely not. You’re not taking away the reason I am here. My love for this sport.
So the biggest fuck you to those trying their best to tear me apart and the biggest THANK YOU to those who support myself and others chasing their dreams day in and day out. YOU are the people who matter. Here’s a vid of me loving what I do from a few weeks ago, hitting my first ever 300lb clean and jerk. I live to train. I live for the work & the tiniest of improvements. I live to be on stage to do my best & show what I work for, “good enough” or not. If you’re one of those people, I hope this really bothers you. Make a change. Be fucking nicer to people.
As for what’s next for Rogers? All we know for certain is that she’s back on social media and not letting any of her haters get away with it.
Feature image from @mattiecakesssss Instagram.