Interview with Olympian Jourdan Delacruz

Jourdan Delacruz spent some time with Velaasa Athletics discussing her weightlifting career. Jourdan represented the United States in the Tokyo Olympics and most recently earned her first World Championships medal in September winning bronze at the 2023 IWF Championships in Saudi Arabia.

In addition to her weightlifting accomplishments, Jourdan is also a registered dietitian student and recently launched Herathlete, a platform that focuses on nutrition and performance for female athletes. You can support her efforts by utilizing her new platform as well as using her code jourdan15 at checkout and cheering her on through her Instagram page. 

What inspired you to pursue weightlifting at an elite level?

My personal goals and experiences inspire me to continue pursuing weightlifting at an elite level. I want to make it to my second Olympic Games and finally be a part of a true Olympic experience.

How do you manage the physical and mental pressures of competing at such a high level?

I have the privilege of getting to work with USAW’s sports psychologist, who has helped me navigate through the physical and mental pressures of sports since 2019. Additionally, I learned that a lot of the pressure an athlete may feel comes from others. I learned to focus on what I want out of this sport, and that, alone, has reduced the impact of physical and mental pressures.

Can you share with us your best achievement and most memorable moment in weightlifting?

I have achieved many wonderful things and have experienced many memorable moments in weightlifting. One achievement I am very proud of is my first Worlds medal at the 2023 World Championships. I was not expecting to medal at Worlds, so it was a complete surprise to me when my coach told me after my successful third attempt in the clean and jerk. 

Can you describe your daily training routine leading up to the Olympic qualifiers?

I train twice a day, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I have single sessions on Tuesday and Saturday with two rest days in the week. Leading up to an Olympic qualifier, it is important to me that I keep my routine as normal as possible. Outside of training, I make sure that I regularly see my physical therapist, speak with my psychologist, and work with my sports dietitian to dial in my recovery and preparation for competition.

Who has been your biggest influence or mentor in your weightlifting journey?

As a young weightlifter, I looked up to Morghan King during her prep for Rio 2016. Since then, we have been teammates and competitors for an Olympic spot. She is still an amazing mentor and friend to me.

Have you faced any significant challenges or setbacks in your career? How did you overcome them?

Any elite lifter will say they have faced challenges or setbacks in their career…that’s just part of it. For me, bombing at the Olympics in 2021 was the hardest challenge to overcome. To make it all the way to the top to fall straight back down to the bottom is a very difficult mental hurdle to overcome. However, this setback is my greatest motivation to qualify for my second Olympic Games. 

How important is the role of your coach in your journey, and what's the best piece of advice they've given you?

Having a good relationship with your coach is extremely important to be a successful athlete. All athletes need a support system, and coaches are often a part of that network of people. My coach and I have been through many challenges as we’ve grown a lot during our time working together. As I was a developing athlete, he was a developing coach, so I feel our relationship is very special considering all that we’ve been through together.

How do you handle the moments of doubt, if they ever occur, especially with the Olympic qualification in view?

Negative thoughts, including doubt, always occur in sports and in life! For me, I’ve learned to think logically when I start to feel doubt. Most of the time, doubt is built on fear of the unknown. Until I have actual evidence that is big enough to cause doubt, I redirect my thoughts as much as possible. When there is serious doubt, I always come up with a plan that involves my support system. My team, coach, family, friends, and healthcare professionals work with me to navigate through doubt.

How do you prepare mentally for a big competition?

The more I compete, the more fun I have at the competition. Of course, it is normal to feel nervous or anxious, but you get better at sitting in those feelings and not letting them overcome you. I mentally prepare for big competitions by implementing my mental skills on a regular basis. I try to minimize outside stressors. I also incorporate things that I love to do and make me feel relaxed, such as reading a good book.

What would you like to say to young athletes looking to pursue a career in weightlifting?

Weightlifting has a lot to offer young athletes. For me, I became more confident in who I was as a person through this sport. I learned that I love the feeling of being strong. I learned that the best type of community is the type that supports you through everything. Lastly, I’ve made lifelong relationships because of this sport, and for that, I am forever grateful for weightlifting.


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