Interview with Maude Charron

Maude Charron (Facebook)

At the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021, Maude Charron of Sainte-Luce, Quebec won a gold medal for Canada in the women’s 64 kilogram weight class in weightlifting. Since then she won a gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the bronze medal at the 2022 World Weightlifting Championships in Bogota, Colombia.

Here is my interview with Canada’s elite weightlifter.

JF: Since the last Olympic Games, you have had to move from the 64 kilogram weight class to the 59 kilogram weight class because the 64 kilogram weight class is no longer on the Olympic stage. Tell me about the challenges you have faced in being required to move to a lower weight class?

MC: It was a lot of adjustments, especially with my calorie intakes on a day-to-day basis. The hardest is always the week before a competition where I still need to lose weight and eat less, but the weight I have to lift in training is heavier. We needed to find a good balance and time my weight cut so I don’t feel too weak and exhausted in training. Now that I’ve done the cut almost 10 times, I pretty much set up and know exactly how much weight to loose when and what type of food to prioritize.

JF:  Your success at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo was under the radar, and the snatch part of the Olympic event was not shown live on English television. Now people know who you are. What has the fame been like for you the last three years?

MC: It’s much harder now to go do errands quickly! Since I live in a small town, everybody wants to chat and learn more about my life. The best is that now, everybody knows what weightlifting is. Before Tokyo, it was often mistaken for bodybuilding or powerlifting. Now, even kids know what is it when I visit school and they are curious about the sport.

JF: At a World Cup earlier this year in Thailand, you won a bronze medal. What will it take for you to beat Luo Shifang of China and Gyong Kim of North Korea at the Olympic Games, the two athletes that finished in front of you?

MC: North Korea won’t be in Paris because their athletes missed too many competitions during the qualifications. Luo Shifang is an incredible athlete. China will send her because they know she can win this and they’re not wrong. She would need a very bad day to not step on the highest step of the podium.

JF: Since winning Olympic gold, you were the flag bearer for Canada in the opening ceremonies at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. What was that experience like?

 MC: It was a true honor for me. I had goosebumps all the way. Leading one of the biggest country into stadium, hearing the crowd cheering us, it was incredible.

 JF: The future of weightlifting at the Olympic Games has been scrutinized in recent years because there have been concerns that the sport is not clean. What steps have been made to help keep banned substances out of your sport?

MC: IWF used every year about all of its budget to ITA, an independent worldwide antidoping agency to select, conduct, analyze and publish all the tests. There has been a lot of improvements and we saw a decline of positive tests. Now, most athletes are tested before any major competitions and they double the number of tests taken during competition. More information can be found on the IWF and ITA websites.

JF:  What are your goals at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris?

Show up in the best shape I can. Enjoy every minute to it’s fullest with my friends and family. Go to the closing ceremony.

The women’s 58 kilogram weightlifting competition will take place on August 8 at 7 am MT.

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