15-Year-Old C.J. Cummings Shocks Weightlifting World

He's been called the "LeBron" of weightlifting and could have Olympic medal in his future.

CJ Cummings

Not many athletes draw comparisons with both Michael Jordan and LeBron James, even fewer do so while still a teenager.

That's been the case for C.J. Cummings over the past few years as he's clean jerked his way to the top of record books. Now, after setting a national record at the 2015 USA Weightlifting National Championships this month (with a new mark of 175kg/385 pounds), the Wall Street Journal has named him the "LeBron James" of weightlifting. Here's why.

“In 37 years of coaching, I’ve never seen anything like this kid,” U.S. team coach Dennis Snethen told the Journal. “He’s the Michael Jordan of weightlifting in America.”

The praise might not be far off the mark. Cummings has actually been shattering records for a while. He set the American men's record in the clean and jerk last year when he was just 14 years old. Here's a video of the teen beasting 337.3 pounds.

It's only uphill from here. Americans haven't won a weightlifting medal since Mario Martinez and Guy Carlton snagged silver and gold respectively in the (Soviet Union-less) 1984 games. Weightlifters usually peak in their mid 20s, so it's no wonder why many are seeing Cummings as the USA's great lifting hope. That said, his coach told the Journal they're not entertaining thoughts of pushing him to make history in Rio next year.

“This is a 15-year-old boy, and we’re going slow and steady,” Rayford Jones told the Journal. “But you give this boy four years beyond Rio, you talk about the Tokyo Olympics, well, now that’s a real opportunity.” 

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