Gaelle Ketchanke

Female weightlifters may be latecomers to the Olympics—the women’s competition was only added to the program in 2000—but they’ve been working their way up with determination and force. At the forefront of the sport is Gaelle Nayo Ketchanke, a Cameroon-born athlete now representing France, who started her training when she was 7 years old. Her records are certainly impressive—111kg in snatch, 137kg in clean and jerk—but as is the glow she exudes when met in person.

With her eyes set on a medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, she pursues her goal with a quiet focus, pushed forward not only by the will to win but also by the athlete’s purest motivation—sheer passion for the sport. Passion is indeed something Gaelle exudes, and it makes being around her an unforgettable, uplifting and inspiring experience. Armed with her unstoppable attitude and backed by a family of athletes and a team betting on her, she’s bound to achieve whatever she sets out to do.

Read the full interview by Irma Kubisty in the first issue of the ARKISTO fanzine.

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Shot by Johan Sandberg in  Clermont-l'Hérault, France.