Lisa Marie Schweizer is a newly minted Olympian and multiple German weightlifting champion. Today she can thank her former math teacher for being one of the best German weightlifters. Until 2009, the then 14-year-old was mainly engaged in endurance sports and was not involved in weightlifting.
“I already had strong legs at that time, but also a weak back. As a result, I got back problems.”
Her math teacher at the time, himself a former weightlifter and at the time a coach and judge, repeatedly praised the sport in class and tried to convince his students of it. “After class, I asked him if weightlifting would strengthen the back. He smiled and said I should come by for training, “Schweizer thinks back with a grin.
And she can still remember her first training well. “I was already doing a squat with 40kg at that time, although I had never had a barbell in my hand before.” Today, her best performance is 145kg for three.
A ride up and down to Tokyo
It began in 2009 and led her all the way to the Tokyo Olympics this year. Three and a half weeks before the Games, the 26-year-old set a new PR in a test competition – “With this shape I can travel to Tokyo and fight for a top place ” she thought. But there should still be some obstacles in the way. Three weeks before the Olympics it cracked in her back while squatting – diagnosis of herniated disc. “I finished the squat and then realized that I couldn’t stand straight and walk properly. At that moment, it was as if someone had torn the ground from under my feet. I was close to the Olympic Games and was in top shape up to that point.”
Lisa Marie Schweizer suffered a herniated disc three weeks before the Olympic Games in Tokyo. But Schweizer did not give up and fought her way back. But with the great support from a physiotherapist and doctor, she was back on the platform with the barbell just a week later. “I effectively had two weeks to rebuild tension. Actually, I never had any pain, but the muscles tensed up again and again. As a result, I was under unequal strain and lifting didn’t feel normal.” But writing off the Olympics was out of the question for her. “I fought and made the impossible possible. I don’t think I would have forgiven myself if I hadn’t tried everything.” In the weight class up to 64kg, the 26-year-old finally did 100kg in the snatch and 117kg in the clean and jerk. She came in 10th place overall. “I knew that I couldn’t compete at my best and had to cut corners. In the end, I am very satisfied with my performance. To be honest, I didn’t expect that much.”
Full-time studies and Olympic qualification
The fact that Schweizer was able to fulfill her big dream of the Olympics is not a matter of course. Although she trained after her Abitur in Leimen under the wing of the national coach, but the expected performances were initially absent. In 2016, she decided to study full-time with the Rhineland-Palatinate police and against the sports promotion group and competitive sports. “At that time, I was training for myself in a storage room for almost two years. Nevertheless, I constantly improved and at some point I said I wanted to know how much potential I still do have.” In 2018, she moved to AC Mutterstadt and trained there for the first time according to a structured plan of a coach. For the first time in her career, the then 23-year-old qualified for a World Championship, which was also the first qualifying competition for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. “The situation could not have been more unprofessional. At that time, I was still studying full-time and had always worked out for myself before. That’s why my qualification for the World Championships was actually a bit unexpected.”
Since she qualified for the World Championships in Ashgabat, Lisa Marie Schweizer was able to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo afterwards. Therefore, the qualification for the World Championships is something very special to her. “Of course, the Olympics are actually the biggest thing you can achieve, but for me personally, qualifying for the World Championship was my biggest success so far.” And this success also had an impact on her further career. Subsequently, Schweizer moved to the sports promotion group of the police and has been training again in Leimen at the performance center since last year. “I now have the privilege of being an athlete 24 hours a day and being able to concentrate fully on weightlifting.”
Advanced training and rehabilitation
And the 26-year-old now wants to use this time to quickly get back in shape again after her injury. “I am not currently training to compete. The goal for the time being is to make everything feel normal again.” And in order to achieve this goal, only basics such as squats, pulls and strength training are currently on her training schedule. “Of course it could always go faster and I’m also a little impatient, but in the end I got away with a black eye. I’m glad it’s not worse and above all I’m pain-free.”
Schweizer wants to be part of the German Championships in Böbingen in December and then return to top-level for her next goal, the European Championships next spring.
But the 26-year-old wants to be back in top shape by the fall of next year at the latest because that’s when the next world championship and, at the same time, the qualification for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris are coming up. And for this great goal, the weightlifter is pleased to have a new partner at her side with the Weightlifting Shop. “The partnership with the Weightlifting Shop makes my everyday life incredibly easier. That has an influence on my training performance and this is crucial for my competition. It is the ideal partner for me.”
We wish Lisa Marie Schweizer all the best for her future and lifting career and will keep you informed about her!