Bonney Lake, WA, woman tops US Olympic women's weightlifting - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Bonney Lake, WA, woman tops US Olympic women's weightlifting

Associated Press - May 17, 2008 11:15 PM ET

ATLANTA (AP) - Melanie Roach, of Bonney Lake, Wash., proved today that persistence pays off.

Roach qualified for the US Olympic Weightlifting team, eight years after a back injury ruined her expected trip to the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

The 33-year-old mother of 3 was the top-rated lifter at the U.S. Olympic weightlifting trials in Atlanta. She'll be joined in Beijing by Carissa Gump, Natalie Woolfolk and Cheryl Haworth on the U.S. team.

Roach was a promising gymnast at Auburn High School, but an injury cut her career short. Part of her rehabilitation was weightlifting and she became hooked on the sport.

But on the road to the 2000 Sydney Olympics, she herniated a disc in her back.

She quit the sport for five years to start a family with her husband, Washington state legislator Dan Roach. When she decided to start lifting again, the pain returned, too, forcing her to undergo surgery in the fall of 2006 shortly after she claimed her sixth national title.

Today, the 117-pound Roach made all 3 of her lifts in the snatch, the heaviest at just over 178 pounds.

In the clean and jerk, she lifted nearly 229 pounds with ease, then locked up her spot by hoisting just under 240 pounds on her second attempt.

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