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CJ CUMMINGS :Three Time Winner of the IWF Junior World Championship

story by Cindy Reid     photos by Susan DeLoach
Beaufort Lifestyle has been following C.J. Cummings for several years, starting when he was first brought to our attention by his Team Beaufort Olympic Weightlifting coach Rayford Jones. Every year, every meet, every lift just drives home the fact that C.J. Cummings is a world class athlete who is not only going places, the places he’s gone are already in his rear view mirror!
This July C.J topped even himself, when he set an astounding record by winning three gold medals and winning the IWF Junior World Championships for the third consecutive year. Of his incredible win he says, “It felt good. I didn’t realize it at first, you know you finish your event and then someone told me and I was in shock. No one else has ever won it three years in a row. This one was beautiful! ”
“Following a historic performance by U.S. weightlifters at the 2017 Senior World Championships, the next generation of Americans kept the momentum going at the IWF Junior World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. In the eight-day event, U.S. athletes won 18 medals, marking the most successful showing ever for Team USA at the competition. The U.S. men won five medals, including three golds by CJ Cummings.
Already a five-time youth and four-time junior world champion prior to 2018, Cummings led the way for Team USA by sweeping the men’s 69 kg. class. His winning snatch (140 kg.) and clean & jerk (176 kg.) added up to the winning total of 316 kg.
These marked Cummings’s third junior world titles in three years in clean & jerk and total weight, while he won snatch for the first time. Cummings, of Beaufort, South Carolina, is coming off a season in which he set a new senior, junior and youth American record in the 69 kg. category. www.teamusa.org
For those new to the C.J. Cummings fan club, here is a brief run down.
At age 11, he started weightlifting with Team Beaufort Olympic Weightlifting, led by Coach Ray Jones, and became the youngest lifter ever to complete a clean & jerk of twice his body weight (200 LBS).
At age 13, USA Weightlifting called him the “strongest 13 year-old in the world.”
At age 16, he was completely dominating the 69 KG weight class with five 1st Overall finishes at major youth and junior competitions. In 2017, Cummings defended his Youth World Championship in Thailand, breaking his own Youth World Record clean & jerk with 185KG.
At age 17, C.J.  set a new senior, junior and youth American record in the 69 kg. category
Today, he holds 25 USAW National Records and 7 IWF Gold Medals. He has been profiled by ESPN, Men’s Journal, Muscle and Strength as well as many of the weightlifting and fitness magazines and websites. This July he was featured in National Geographic magazine in an article along with Hussein Bolt, Jesse Owens, Paralympics record holder Jarryd Wallace, Florence Griffith-Joyner and others.
Clearly the sky is the limit for this exceptionally talented (and hard working) young man.
Beaufort Lifestyle recently caught up with C.J.  to congratulate him on his phenomenal win at the IWF Junior World Championships and see what was new in his life.
Congrats on your high school graduation!
Where are you attending college?
I am currently a freshman at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, Bluffton campus, as a business major.
What interests you in the business world?
I think a business degree will be a big help to me in my sports career. I also am interested in building houses, real estate and the performing world. A business background will be useful for all of these ideas.
How do you like college life?
So far so good. I like my classes and the dorm is pretty fun.
What type of social media presence do you have?
I am on facebook, Instagram and twitter, and I run all my sites myself. I like it because I connect with fans and friends and it’s a good way to get to know people. I put it out there; people pretty much know everything going on with me.
How often do you work out?
I work out Monday through Friday. I take the weekend off!
What is your best weightlifting event?
The clean & jerk is my best event. (The clean and jerk is a composite of two weightlifting movements. During the clean, the lifter moves the barbell from the floor to a racked position. During the jerk the lifter raises the barbell to a stationary position above the head, finishing with straight arms and legs, and the feet in the same plane as the torso and barbell.)
What is your favorite event?
I would say the snatch is my favorite.
(The objective of the snatch is to lift the barbell from the ground to overhead in one continuous motion.)
Who are your athletic sponsors?
I’ve been fortunate to have Reebok, Rogue, Essentia water, PowerBar and Earth Fed Muscle as sponsors. These are all products I use and I appreciate their sponsorship.
When is your next event?
I will be going to the American Open Series 3, September 13-16 in Las Vegas. I have been to Nevada but not Las Vegas so that will be fun.
You have travelled extensively for your sport. What is your favorite destination so far?
I really liked Peru. It’s a beautiful country and the culture is pretty cool.
Where would you like to go that you haven’t been to yet?
I would like to check out Dubai, it looks like an interesting place.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Preparing to be in the 2024 Olympics-this will be after I win at the 2020 Olympics! But I really don’t project too far into the future; I take it one day at a time.
You have a busy life, so where do you go to unwind?
I like to go to the movies.
Are you dating anyone?
Yes, my girlfriend Sidney Bailey. She sings, acts and is a recording artist.
Your favorite place in Beaufort?
I like going to the Broad River Bridge boardwalk, that’s a good place to relax.
C.J, thank you for taking the time to catch us up and good luck in Las Vegas!
To follow C.J., check him out on facebook (CJ Cummings), Instagram (cj_cummings), and twitter.
Check out his website at: www.cj-cummings.com/
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