Alyssa Lynn Ritchey

Further Personal Information
Residence
Perrysburg, OH, USA
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English
Higher education
Exercise Science - Grand Valley State University: Allendale, MI, USA
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She was first introduced to weightlifting at high school by her athletics coach, in order to improve her performance on the track. She competed in weightlifting as a secondary sport until September 2016 when she committed to the sport full-time.
Why this sport?
She planned to take a year out of competitive sport in 2016 because she was worn out, but her CrossFit sponsor suggested she try weightlifting. "The whole point of stopping CrossFit was to not be a competitive athlete. I knew myself. If I'm competing, I'm going to be all in."
Club / Team
Team Juggernaut: United States
Name of coach
Max Aita [personal], USA
International Debut
Year
2017
Competing for
United States
Tournament
Pan American Championships
Location
Miami, FL, USA
General Interest
Hobbies
Mountain biking, backpacking, hiking. (Facebook page, 10 Sep 2019)
Hero / Idol
US weightlifters Morghan King and Martha Rogers. (barbend.com, 24 May 2017)
Injuries
In October 2017 she was diagnosed with bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, the compression of the median nerve as it travels through the wrist. She had struggled with numbness in her hands and fingers in the night for two to three years prior to a diagnosis. She sleeps in wrist splints to alleviate the condition. (thebarbellspin.com, 18 Oct 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Strength is not determined by size." (Instagram profile, 28 Oct 2017)
Other sports
From 2013 to 2016 she competed in CrossFit at regional level in the United States of America. She has competed for the DC Brawlers in the National Pro Grid League, a professional fitness league that includes elements of weightlifting, gymnastics and body manoeuvres, and has also participated in athletics and gymnastics at state level. (YouTube channel, 20 Sep 2018; Facebook page, 17 Sep 2018; thebarbellspin.com, 11 Dec 2016; alyssaritchey.com, 28 Oct 2017; jtsstrength.com, 14 May 2014)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (barbend.com, 24 May 2017)
Other information
CROSSFIT TO WEIGHTLIFTING
She switched from CrossFit to weightlifting in late 2016. "I was mentally and physically exhausted from CrossFit training. I was constantly tired after training, and I never had extra time for other activities. I needed more balance between my training and my personal life. I was going to take the year [2017] off from all competing until [coach] Chad Smith and [US weightlifter] Colin Burns found out. They convinced me to join Team Juggernaut and cut weight to be in the 48kg weight class for the 2016 American Open [in Orlando, FL, United States of America]. And this began my journey. I completely fell in love with weightlifting and my new-found strength." (barbend.com, 24 May 2017)

BODY POSITIVITY
She was a victim of bullying in her youth, and has spoken out about the abuse she has received online since becoming an elite weightlifter. "I was bullied in high school my junior and senior year, and quite frankly, I am over it. I am not the type of woman to sit around and let someone be mean. Standing up for myself is important. I want people to know this is not okay. I don't think our society is fully okay with women being muscular, just yet. However, I do think there are many more people in our generation that accept it now and think it's beautiful. It's all in how we, ourselves, perceive the comments, looks and gestures." (barbend.com, 23 Jul 2018)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
In 2019 she started presenting a weightlifting podcast called 'BittyStrong', which features fitness and diet tips as well as conversations with fellow athletes and health and fitness professionals. "We keep it real, from the sacrifices, the highs and lows of training, the mindset it takes to be at the top, recovery techniques everyone needs and the importance of a proper diet for their sport." (audioboom.com, 03 Sep 2019)

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