Reviews & Quotes

Video Librarian
Aud: C, P. (K. Fennessy)
"A large woman, she takes pride in her size, which has allowed her to prevail in a male-dominated sport, citing the added physical leverage that is made possible with a larger frame. She also has a sense of humor, noting that due to her size, 'breaking furniture' comes with the territory. Wyman concentrates on Haworth's career after her bronze win in 2000. Haworth feels she has found her calling, but suffers a blow when an injury slows her down, although she recovers in time to train for the world championships in Taiwan and the Olympics in Beijing. After graduating from art school, Haworth moves to Colorado Springs to work out at the Olympic Training Center. While she can lift over 350 pounds, she trains with men who can lift over 600 and she competes against other women who can lift almost 400. After a second injury, Haworth begins to ponder life after weightlifting, but her size precludes her entry into some careers, such as the Coast Guard, which has strict requirements about weight. Haworth goes on to compete in 2008, but walks off into an uncertain future, although it's hard to imagine that she won't find another field in which to make her mark. Aside from Haworth, other female weightlifters here also offer their thoughts about the sport. DVD extras include an audio commentary by Haworth, Wyman, and cinematographer Anne Etheridge, a behind-the-scenes featurette, and deleted scenes. Recommended."

Educational Media Reviews Online | Reviewed by Cliff Glaviano, formerly with Bowling Green State University Libraries
"In addition to learning about the training and mechanics of Olympic weightlifting, the mental and physical obstacles that must be overcome for a gifted athlete to succeed, the filmmaker also allows the viewer to experience society’s bias against plus sized women. Of necessity, Cheryl’s automobile is a full-sized Lincoln, she has to be careful not to sit on most furniture in public places, and off the rack clothing just doesn’t work for Cheryl and her weightlifting teammates. Because she is successful at what she does, Cheryl becomes the most tested U.S. athlete for banned substance use. As she contemplates retirement from active competition, Cheryl is not sure what her future holds other than 'tangible freedom' from weightlifting competition.

This video is highly recommended. Cheryl’s story is told with great empathy and artistry. The excellent cinematography includes great sound recording and editing of interviews that took place out in the forest, on the street, in parking lots or moving vehicles, in homes, gyms and training facilities. Extras include commentary by the director, cinematographer and Cheryl Haworth on the collaboration that made the film possible, a behind the scenes featurette, deleted scenes and the official film trailer."