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Flowery Branch grad Hope Stockel pleased with strong showing at Junior World Championships
Athlete aspires to make Summer Olympics in 2020 or 2024
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Flowery Branch High graduate Hope Stockel competes in the clean and jerk at the 2015 Junior World Championships on June 9 in Wroclaw, Poland. - photo by For The Times

Hope Stockel’s life revolves around clean living and lifting heavy weight.

The diet of a typical young adult is not conducive to making the Summer Olympic Games, like Stockel strives to do, in either 2020 or 2024.

Still, this 20-year-old Flowery Branch High graduate recently had reason to celebrate a great performance way across the globe, lifting in a pair of events at the Junior World Championships June 9 in Wroclaw, Poland.

As a treat, Stockel broke for just a brief moment from her normal way of life afterward to chow down on some delicious hamburgers and french fries with friends competing with the U.S. Joining her in the celebratory meal was her friend, Maddy Myers, who holds the U.S. Junior record in the clean and jerk.

In the snatch, Stockel, a 58-kilogram lifter, locked out her second of three lifts of 74 kilograms for a 17th-place spot at the Junior World Championships.

Then in the clean and jerk, her second attempt of 94 kilograms was her heaviest successful lift, earning a 13th-place spot.

Not only had Stockel, the 14th-ranked lifter in her weight class, had the chance as one of 15 Americans to lift in Poland, it also signaled the end of her lifting career as a junior in world competition.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete at the Junior World Championships,” said Stockel, who lifts with the guidance of her father, C.J., as coach. “I feel very honored to have represented the United States.”

Both events make it imperative to have great technique and explosive strength.

Stockel said weightlifting has never been a chore. Her father C.J., who previously served as strength and conditioning coach at Flowery Branch High, got her interested in the sport when she was 7. Thirteeen years later, she hasn’t slowed down in her pursuit of greatness.

Stockel is pushing to break her best lifts in events where she’s having to finish with the weight above her head. To push to be one of the best in the US, she’s training for three hours, six days every week at Buford’s CrossFit Orange Groove.

“I’m training to be a complete athlete,” said Stockel, who graduated in 2013 from Flowery Branch.

She also carefully crafts her diet around the AdvoCare family of nutrition and sports-performance products. She said following a regimented meal plan helps overcome exhaustion and build strength.

Lifting at the Junior World Championships was the biggest of her career to date. It was Stockel’s first event overseas since the Youth World Championships in 2013.

Stockel’s lifting dreams are now tied to her education. She’ll enroll in August at the University of Northern Michigan, where she will train at Olympic Training Site. That means a totally new atmosphere once the seasons change in the winter.

“It’s going to feel a little weird, they have a totally different climate,” said Stockel. “It snows a lot in Marquette, Michigan.”

She relocates to begin the new chapter of her life Aug. 18. 

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