Mariah Hamm wants to be a commercial photographer after she graduates from UW-Eau Claire with a bachelor's degree in fine arts, but her passion lies in powerlifting. That passion recently took her all the way to the world championships in Prague, where she won the title of 2015 International Powerlifting Federation Junior Worlds 84kg Gold Medalist. The silver and bronze medals in her division went to competitors from Norway and Russia.
"Ever since I picked up a barbell in 2007, all I wanted to do was be the best, and win a World Championship. Now, almost nine years later, I was able to do just that. I will never forget the moment my coach told me I won; I literally collapsed into him, crying so hard I could barely take a breath. It was such an intimate, raw, surreal moment in my life," Mariah said about the win.
So what's next on the list of goals for this Blugold and world champion? She now sets her sights on the Open World championships, describing how as an athlete, she always has "more to accomplish, more to train for." Powerlifting has instilled in Hamm an extreme sense of self-motivation, confidence, time-management skills and dedication that spill over into her academic and career goals. As a world champion AND women's role model, Hamm also understands what it means to succeed and just how much work it takes to get where you want to go, and that's pretty powerful!