By Mollie Mansfield
This strong twelve year old girl is a champion weightlifter who can lift the equivalent of a baby hippo.
Elle Hatamiya is the USA Weightlifting National Youth Champion and, thanks to a strict daily training regime, can lift over eight stone.
Elle, from San Francisco, first became interested in different sports at 15 months old but has only been training as a weightlifter for the past three years.
Just after learning how to walk, Elle started recreational gymnastic classes – something that led to Elle starting crossfit training, followed by weightlifting.
At nine years old she was lifting weights most men her age would struggle to lift.
The tiny pre-teen has now worked her way up to winning championship titles and increases the weight of her lifts weekly.
Tracy, Elle’s mum, said: “Elle is super dedicated and strong when it comes to weightlifting.
“Even though she’s lifting such heavy weights I don’t get nervous watching her because I know that Elle’s coach has taught her to use the excellent technique when lifting.
“I am very proud of the hard work and discipline that Elle puts into doing what she loves.
“Her success so far has been amazing, but the important part to me is that she is happy and fulfilled.”
Elle initially showed an interest in sports when she was just 15-months-old and started recreational gymnastic classes.
She was then moved onto competitive training and eventually picked up a love for weightlifting and martial arts.
Tracy, 41, added: “Elle started out doing gymnastics for fun when she was just a toddler.
“At the age of seven, she started martial arts training with her brother, Jude, and is now a green belt.
“When Elle was eight, she told me she wanted ‘more’ gymnastics, so we decided to move her to her current gym.
“This was where she quickly up the ranks before being invited to join the competitive team.
“She then started crossfit training, which was initially to support her gymnastics, but she was competing in crossfit competitions and doing extremely well.
“So when she was 10, her coach had her practise two Olympic lifts and she was a natural.
“She then started to compete and train as an Olympic weightlifter, and within a year became the USA Weightlifting National Youth Champion in her weight class.”
However, Elle’s success didn’t come easy, she is on a very strict training regime and a healthy protein infused diet.
Tracy said: “Elle trains with her gymnastics team four days a week, lifting twice a week and dojo twice a week.
“Elle mostly eats the foods that I cook, so we make sure they are as organic as possible, with grass-fed meat and lots of fruit. She doesn’t want to eat processed foods.
“When Elle’s not doing her many hours of training, she has a very normal life.
“She attends public school and does homework just like her peers!”
Elle said: “I love weightlifting and the feeling I get when I lift more than ever before.
“I’ve always enjoyed sports but my coach has said I’m a natural weightlifter which is amazing.
“When I’m older I want to become a professional weightlifter and own my own gym.”