Documentary which follows young weightlifters Zoe Smith, Hannah Powell and Helen Jewell as they chase the ultimate Olympic dream of representing Team GB at London 2012.
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This year three extraordinary weightlifting girls have one
To muscle their way into the biggest competition on earth -
the London Olympics.
God, I so want to be part of the 2012 squad.
-That would mean everything to me.
-It's really exciting.
But to get there they face 12 hard months of heavy training...
My body's just hurting.
..and two massive international tests.
This weight is nothing. Just snatch it.
The girls are attempting to lift up to twice their own body weight.
Can they handle the pressure?
I don't believe it.
Take the pain?
And succeed in the battle with their own weight going up and down?
-I really want bacon.
Just asking you not to bring McDonalds into the house
for one daughter while the other one sits there literally starving.
There's only two places on the Olympic team for womens'
weightlifting. Who will claim the once in a lifetime prize
of standing strong for Britain?
Steal some from in here.
17-year-old Zoe Smith is leaving her home in London to train full
time as a weightlifter in Leeds.
Oh God. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
It's going to be quite fun.
Obviously the training is going to be tough but you would be silly
if you didn't think it was going to be tough basically.
She's given up her school now so it just seems the right thing.
She's got one year to go to the Olympics, so if you can't make
a real go of it now and being given this opportunity to really
focus on training for a year - I think it's a sacrifice worth making.
I am slightly nervous. It's just helpful to
have your parents around I suppose.
Come on, get organised.
-I'll miss you.
I started weightlifting when I was 12.
I was a gymnast like a normal girl once.
I was always explosive but not particularly graceful.
-Have a good trip up, won't you?
The line they used to get me into weightlifting from gymnastics
was, "You're very powerful but you're never going to be
"an Olympic gymnast, but you just might be good at weightlifting."
You don't really need a lot of grace in weightlifting do you?
So this is the perfect sport for me.
After winning bronze at the Commonwealth Games
when she was just 16, Zoe was tipped as having Olympic potential.
But then her funding was axed when the sport's governors thought
she wasn't showing enough commitment,
or working hard enough to keep her body weight down.
But now she's decided to give up her A levels
and put all her efforts into making the team.
Eventually it got sorted out
and I decided I was going to come full time
and show them my commitment.
God, I so want to be part of the 2012 squad.
But it's going to be so massive
because it's going to be like an exclusive team of athletes
and you're either part of that or you're not.
To be part of that would be absolutely fantastic.
Zoe has a hard year ahead at the Olympic Training Centre in Leeds.
But worrying about how much she can lift isn't her only battle.
My biggest issue is probably the body weight category problem.
Like boxers, weightlifters are divided into categories
according to their body weight
and only compete against athletes of a similar size.
So being in the right body weight class can make all the difference.
Zoe is in the category for athletes weighing up to 63 kilograms,
Or 9 stone 12.
She's a healthy weight but to have the best chance of Olympic
qualification she's hoping to come down a weight category
which will mean losing at least 5 kilos.
I'm in the 63s at the moment
and I'll b competing at the Worlds at 63,
but I want to come down to 58, cos that will make me more competitive.
It's going to be hard to stay strong
and come down a body weight category.
It's just so hard to stick to boring food all the time. I like chocolate.
But I think it's worth the torture basically.
In Leeds Zoe is moving in with one of her rivals for the Olympic team.
But 18-year-old Hannah Powell is also her best friend.
Thank you so much.
'It's still sinking in that the Olympics is next year.'
I try not to get too excited about it
and just try and focus on what I've got to do to get there,
but at the same time it is really exciting.
Hannah has been lifting weights since she was 11,
inspired by her dad and uncle who were both power lifters.
She's quite scary-looking, isn't she?
Yeah. A bit manly.
Everyone thinks everyone in weightlifting's like that.
'People associate weightlifting with screaming.'
Big men in sweaty, horrible, tight leotards
and hairy people and that kind of thing.
'People are quite shocked
'when I tell them I do weightlifting.'
I have had to prove myself a few times, cos some people just refuse
to believe it. I'm only four foot eight and a half.
'I think weightlifting has given me a better physique,
'cos if I didn't lift, I think I'd just be dead skinny.'
Like, weirdly skinny!
So I think it's given me a bit of definition and shape.
'I've worked really, really hard for the last seven years.
'It's never been easy.'
I've had to kind of build my life around weightlifting.
Not just fit weightlifting in.
Most teenagers my age are going out and partying
and doing what they want and trying new things.
But now it's nice to be a potential Olympian.
Pitched against Hannah and Zoe, 22-year-old Helen Jewell
is also hoping for a place on the Olympic team.
She's already established as a strong contender.
'I've been competing for ten years now.'
This is the duvet from the Commonwealth Games
that we brought back.
That really ignited the flame and has made me
even more hungry for the Olympics.
I think I'm quite naturally strong.
I grew up on a farm in Devon,
out lifting bales and doing manual work.
Helen started weightlifting while she was at school,
and stuck with it all the way through university.
Weightlifting kind of fits my mindset.
I'm able to push my body and, you know, it is an internal drive.
You've got to really want it.
In all, I think I've counted about 42.
I can't believe you've kept all of them.
They're all ancient!
There's not much use you bringing them all out.
They all look the same.
-Dad, stop! Don't be stupid.
-That's enough now.
He's getting more, isn't he?
Oh, my God!
She's determined that she's going to do it.
Helen's one that if she can, she will.
MUSIC: "Respect" by Aretha Franklin
To improve their chances of selection,
the girls are following a strict training regime.
Twice a day, six days a week
at The British Weightlifting Centre in Leeds.
All under the watchful eye of head coach Tamas Feher.
The strength is absolutely important, and the speed.
The other part is here, up there.
It's not just going to the gym.
It's a quite complex plan.
Every day, every training counts.
There are only two spots on the women's Olympic weightlifting team,
and there are six girls in the running.
To qualify, the girls have to lift a target weight
in one of two upcoming competitions.
We're all competing against each other for the places at London.
It could literally be anyone at the moment.
Now things are getting more serious.
I'm one of the people who wants one of those places.
You know, the pressure's building.
I think secretly we're all kind of watching each other.
Helen, she's doing really well at the moment.
Zoe's got a really good chance of going.
At such a young age, to be lifting the weight she is, it's phenomenal.
Hannah's looking really strong.
I'd be happy for any of us to go, but obviously I'd be more happy
if I got to go, cos I want to go to the Olympics.
More punch, come on. Quick! Yep.
Before their Olympic qualifying competitions,
the girls have their first big test - the World Championships in Paris.
Come on, Hannah.
I've thought a little bit about what it would be like to compete
at the Olympics, but I've got nothing at the moment I could compare it to.
Don't rush. Hold on. Come on!
I'm being sent to the Worlds
because I need to have an understanding of what it's like
to compete on a platform at that level.
A bit rushed, but it's fine.
With nine months to the Olympics, Helen has suffered a serious setback
and will miss the chance to prove herself at the World Championships.
-Have you been here before?
-No, just to see Dr Potter last week.
-Just the initial consultation?
Helen suffered an injury in training and needs surgery on her shoulder.
I've torn one of the muscles in my shoulder.
It's not actually attached, apparently.
Everything just happened so quickly.
I had the scans and then the doctor told me the report.
I was just like, "No!"
It's not ideal, to say the least.
I'm trying to keep smiling.
After the operation, Helen will have to embark on an intensive course
of physical rehab before she can even think about
lifting weights again.
'I suppose with me having the injury, it might make the other girls
'feel like, "Wow, I've got a really good chance here.
'"My chances have just improved."
'But I'm not going to give up easily.'
But Helen's doctor isn't so optimistic.
What she's doing even with a healthy shoulder is difficult enough,
but to do the same after major shoulder surgery
is going to be a tall order for Helen.
With Helen out of the picture,
Zoe and Hannah have a better chance to shine
at the World Championships in Paris.
It'll be the biggest competition I'll have ever done in my life.
-It will be for any of us, I think.
I'm quite excited.
We usually cook separate stuff now, cos we're on diets,
but we're being lazy tonight.
Just cooking one thing.
Zoe is still battling to lose weight,
so she'll be competing in the 63kg category.
That's enough for me.
While Zoe's attempting to shed pounds,
Hannah's desperate to do the opposite.
The biggest challenge I face for me personally is putting on body weight.
I think I've put enough butter on it.
At just six stone and 12 pounds,
she is one of the smallest girls in the lightest weight class.
'I know if I was five kilos heavier, I'd be so much stronger.'
I really, desperately need to go up to 48.
'If I didn't lift, my body would happily sit around 40 kilos.'
So to force my body to weigh 48 kilos is very difficult.
Eight kilos is over a stone.
I'll eat another.
Probably just the same sized meal before I go to bed later.
Imagine if you hit 48 kilos and didn't stop.
-Just kept going.
-You just ballooned!
We're in Paris!
The World Championships is the closest the girls will get
to Olympic-style competition before 2012.
For Zoe and Hannah, it's their first time competing
at such a high level alongside the best lifters in the world.
If they're going to make the Olympic team,
they need to show they can perform under pressure.
I mean, there's over 700 athletes and there's lifters here
I've watched on YouTube for the last few years and stuff
that are really good.
It's kind of like seeing celebrities for me, walking around.
I'm starting to get a little bit nervous.
Every now and then, I start to get butterflies
and stuff thinking about competing.
But good butterflies.
I'm quite confident ahead of it.
I just thought about it and it's just another competition, really.
I shouldn't get too worried about it, even though it's a World Champs.
TANNOY: Smith, Zoe. Great Britain.
Zoe's chance to prove she's capable
of handling Olympic-style competition is about to begin.
Her mum has come to Paris to give her a boost.
Come on, Zoe.
Team coach Tamas is in charge of Zoe's tactics,
getting her psyched up and ready to compete.
OK. 45, please.
The warm-up for the competition is quite tense.
You've got people staring you down.
You know when you see animals
puffing their chests out and stuff?
It's kind of a human version of that, really.
You need to be really psyched up.
You just feel nervous, especially for your first attempt.
You've got butterflies like mad,
It's just a mad feeling in your stomach.
You're the next one.
Be angry, mad and calm at the same time.
Mad and calm.
Come on, Zoe.
It's yours. Come on!
Zoe's first attempt is a lift of 85 kilos.
That's over 13 stone.
From here on, the weights get heavier and heavier.
Maximum focus. Second go, OK?
This is the key. It's yours, come on.
On her final lift,
Zoe's trying to lift more than she's ever achieved in competition.
-Thank you so much.
And it's over!
It's a personal best for Zoe - a lift of 112kg.
That's well over 17 and a half stone.
I've been worrying about this for weeks really.
To have it out of the way and done well, it's like...
I couldn't have asked for more of myself.
-So, so proud of you.
-Do you want your treat?
Before the competition, you just feel so sick and like, "Why have I come?
"Do I really want to be here?"
But once you have a great result like that,
you realise it's all worthwhile.
Yeah, she knows me too well.
Not all of the three hopefuls are experiencing
the bright lights of international competition.
I'm back home in Devon,
at my parent's house.
Everyone else is in Paris, which is where I should have been.
I'm gutted that I can't be there.
'I've been watching the weightlifting on TV,
'the others competing out there and keeping up with their results.
'I'm just really jealous.'
I'm meant to be a weightlifter, lifting weights.
At the moment, I can't even lift an empty bar
and I'm struggling with the weakest coloured theraband.
Struggling to even get my arms
over my head with it.
It's a bit of an emotional rollercoaster,
playing with your mind.
'Is my shoulder ever going to be right?
'Will I ever be able to lift again?'
It is going to be a big ask to qualify for London.
'It's devastating, but I am very dedicated
'and I'm not going to give up that easily.'
There's always some hope.
It's Hannah's turn to find out
if she can take the pressure at the World Championships.
It's just a fine line between getting a lift and failing it.
'All that training and hard work,
'in literally a few seconds at a time.'
There are two kinds of lift in competition.
The first is called the snatch,
where the weight is lifted in one movement.
Yeah. Very good..
Hannah has three attempts at the snatch to lift as much as she can.
Be like a beast on the stage.
OK, six is fine.
Hannah's equalled her personal best in the snatch.
Now she's got three attempts at a different of lift -
the clean and jerk.
It has two movements, and heavier weights.
Explosive, Hannah. Rise high.
Hannah's attempting 79 kilos.
That's 12 stone and six pounds.
Come on. Heels.
-It was lazy. Be very aggressive.
Come on. Come on, Hannah.
Hannah must get her final lift to avoid being disqualified.
She's got just two minutes to compose herself.
Take some deep breaths.
This weight is a piece of cake.
No. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Calm down.
SHOUTS OF ENCOURAGEMENT/APPLAUSE
Oh, I don't believe this.
It happens. Learn from it, OK?
Hannah's got six months to turn things around
if she's to qualify for the Olympics.
I'm sad butt this is the way to learn. It's a hard way.
It's better to do it here instead of London.
It's the World Championships and I bombed out, so....
It's just, just, like, utter disappointment,
like I've let myself down.
I've lifted that weight hundreds and hundreds of times,
in training and in competition.
It's not that I don't think my body's capable of it,
I think it's my head, like, my confidence.
If anything's going to let me down, it'll be that.
After her result at the World Championships,
Zoe's back in London, visiting her old school.
That's my old locker.
That was my locker.
She's been invited to speak to students about
her new life as a full-time athlete.
It's hard to think what I'd be doing now if I hadn't become a weightlifter.
In fact, I'd probably still be here in uniform, actually.
I'm glad I found it. It's changed my life for the better, I think.
It's been nine months since Zoe decided to give up her A-levels
and concentrate on training.
It's a bit strange, really.
I used to walk down this corridor every day.
I do have some good memories of here.
Also bad memories of here, like spending my lunch in there.
Because of the time I had off for competitions and stuff,
I was always quite behind with work.
It's pretty miserable.
I think I've made a good decision, dropping out while I was ahead.
I think I miss the people more than I miss the actual school.
SOPH GASPS/ZOE LAUGHS
Hello. How are you, my dear?
Oh, my God!
-Have you had any offers from unis yet?
-I've not sent it off.
-Have you not?
-Well, no. It's getting sent off today.
That's my personal statement and it's so shit,
but it's apparently good.
-But I think it's shit.
-It looks good.
You haven't changed!
No, I haven't!
It's weird how much my life has changed, compared to theirs,
cos they were all busy with UCAS and personal statements and stuff.
the kind of problems in my life are completely different to theirs now.
It surprised me how hard it is to live away from home at this age.
I didn't even think about it that much when I decided I was going to do it.
I was like, "Yeah, yeah. It'll be fine. I'll just go home every now and then,
"and I'll get to live with Hannah and it'll all be great,"
but, erm, yeah, the reality of it
isn't the same as what I thought it would be, basically.
It's a lot harder.
-Do you need a tissue or anything?
A lot of people think that now Zoe's in Leeds,
at her sort of special training camp,
they have this idea that she has people who prepare her meals,
you know, and take all those kind of problems away from her.
But they've not actually put anything in place to physically help her.
I mean, I'm hoping that she's going to be able to stick with it
and they're going to support her to stick with it.
So if she's staying in Leeds, I'm really hoping that you're
going to be knuckling down to the really hard training.
You say that like I'm the worst person in the world.
No, I don't mean that but, I mean, you say yourself you're not lazy-lazy
but training - I think you've always found training an effort.
She was only saying this morning about another athlete,
"Oh, you know, they're just so driven,"
and I said, "Wouldn't you like to be like that?"
I mean, so far, Zoe's managed to achieve what she's achieves
just taking it quite casually, in her own way.
Just chuck it in.
So I would like to think that she could step up to another level but obviously without...
Leave it darling, I'll do it.
..without hurting herself.
But then I suppose that's just me being her mum,
whereas the coaches would think, "Oh, a bit of pain - no pain, no gain."
Back in Leeds, Helen isn't giving up on her hopes of competing at the Olympics.
My shoulder's really good.
I'm not really getting any pain or discomfort with it when I'm lifting,
so I'm just building back up.
She's returned to full-time training after three months' intensive rehab.
# My system's in mint condition
# The power's up on my transistors
# Working fine, no glitches
# Plug me in and flip some switches
# Pull up in dragging position Pop the hatch and hit ignition
# B-B-Burn up, baby
# Ready for demolition. #
Maybe the operation was just a blessing in disguise, you know.
It's given my body a chance to rest and now I can come back stronger.
Helen is usually the first in the door
and is probably the last out fairly consistently.
She's incredibly disciplined,
she's enthusiastic about her training, well motivated.
Her week's planned out in detail, big lists of to-do's.
Several times, we've said, "Hel, just take a backward step.
"Go home, go to bed, sleep."
I'm just building back up and hopeful that, you know,
things will just keep improving and I can get back on the platform.
After the disappointment of the World Championships,
Hannah is also throwing herself into training.
Don't rush it.
But the intense schedule is proving physically punishing.
This week has been really difficult.
I've struggled quite a lot.
This ripped first, doing pulls,
and that was quite deep and was just hanging off.
And then this one went about five minutes after.
On Monday morning, I was struggling,
so by the time I got to Wednesday afternoon, six sessions later,
I was absolutely knackered.
My body just couldn't take it any more.
My shoulder and my neck had all flared up
and it was starting to hurt down my arm again.
I'm pushing my body more now than it's ever been pushed before,
so the pain and the tiredness and everything's just a consequence of that.
And it's just something that's part of the training now,
so I'll just have to man up and deal with it.
But Hannah's found support in a fellow athlete.
Hannah Powell, how are you feeling?
Well, let me just tell you.
It is 28 minutes past three on a Saturday night and I was asleep,
until drunken Gaz...
-..burst through the door.
Little bit of food. Just clean them.
I do have a boyfriend at the moment, and that's Gaz,
and he is another weightlifter.
'Gaz is, like, a happy-go-lucky kind of person.'
It's nice to be with someone that's kind of in the same situation as me,
cos I think most normal people would find it difficult to understand
the kind of life that I live at the moment as a full-time athlete.
Guys are like, "Are you joking?"
They can normally tell that you do some kind of sport
by your appearance and your physical attributes.
And then they ask you what you do and it's like, "Oh, God!
"Do I tell them? Do I not?"
They usually say, like, "You look too feminine to be a weightlifter,"
obviously cos their idea of a weightlifter is not feminine.
Guys that aren't really confident in themselves
could be intimidated by the fact that I'm a weightlifter and stuff,
but...anyone that I'd want to associate myself with wouldn't really care.
I feel a bit like a film star.
Wish I looked like one!
-I'm counting on you.
Zoe's in London, juggling an increasingly busy schedule
of media engagements, alongside her training.
She's got an agent and has been spending less and less time
at the weightlifting centre in Leeds.
Just eyeballing, OK. Just before competition.
Nice Zoe's gone.
Bad Zoe's arriving.
I couldn't stop giggling cos you know, like...
Have you seen the video for LMFAO's I'm Sexy And I Know It?
There's this bit where he's, like, working out
using this tiny little dumbbell thing and I felt like that guy.
It's coming in big chunks now of media stuff.
It's quite nice to have another side of it, though, cos I suppose
just training all the time could get a bit boring,
but this kind of mixes it up a bit.
Tamas and people are just concerned that
if I do all this kind of media stuff,
my training's going to go out the window, which I do understand but,
at the same time, I think doing the press is important because,
(1) I enjoy it, and it's nice to have a bit of attention, isn't it?
And (2) Say, by some miracle, I was to win gold medals all round,
you could end up getting sponsorship deals left, right and centre,
and you could just be made for life, really.
You've kind of got to focus on all aspects.
I'm getting smile lines now as well, I think.
With her training back on track,
Helen is dedicated to the pursuit of an Olympic place.
Like Zoe, she's decided to come down a weight category.
40 grams of muesli.
So, yeah, it's just about being very pernickety.
I'm pretty good at guessing nuts right.
I reckon this is about 20 grams.
-Oh, exactly! How good is that?
As well as a strict diet, she's burning extra calories by taking power walks each morning,
before hitting the gym for up to six hours.
It's hard work.
I mean, because, obviously, I don't carry that much
body fat as well, to drop a couple of kilos...
It's just one of those things. It's part and parcel of the sport.
Good job that I can be self-disciplined and stop myself,
do whatever it takes to make it.
-Could I have a latte, please, and is that a coffee muffin?
-Could I have one of those as well, please?
Hannah's still desperately trying to put on weight
to make herself stronger, but she's got a new strategy.
Seeing as my nutritionist said,
"Basically, if you need to get extra calories in a day,
"I don't mind you having a chocolate bar or a cake to do so.
"So help yourself, really."
I was like, "Yes!"
Cos before, I was still trying to be kind of healthy.
It seems to be working.
Zoe and Helen are both trying to keep their weight down.
It's amazing, like, how easily I lose weight,
but how hard it is to put it on,
and everyone else seems to have the opposite problem.
Things have changed for Zoe.
Living away from home at such a young age,
and trying to balance her media commitments with training, has become difficult.
So the sport's governing body have found a solution.
She's moved back to London for good
and is training at her old gym with local coach Andy Callard.
If I'm honest, I kind of like the atmosphere down here a bit more.
Yeah, training's actually going really well.
After the intense regime in Leeds,
Andy has a new approach to training Zoe.
Well, she was training twice a day, I think,
six days a week at Leeds, plus the commitments with the dieticians,
the physios and the other sort of sports science which goes along with it.
Here, we've tried to sort of cut most of that stuff out, basically.
What we're doing here is keeping the time in the gym to a minimum.
She's in the gym for maybe an hour and a half, two hours maximum,
five, six days a week.
I thought it was a bad decision for her to give up her A-levels
and to train full-time.
You know, I think that was, is madness.
Big effort now, Zoe. It's a bit heavier now.
Come on, you've got to put some effort into it.
'I think she needs to go to the gym, lift weights, train hard,
'go home, go shopping, go to the cinema, do normal things, relax,'
so we're going for the quality rather than the quantity-type attitude towards training.
Dip and punch. Push! Ah, that's much better. That was good.
I'm so tired now. My legs feel like death.
I'm feeling quite strong, though, which is good.
I'm hoping that this formula will work.
We'll see soon.
The girls are about to get their first shot at Olympic qualification.
The European Championships is one of two competitions
where they have a chance of achieving the Olympic standard.
I need to do 150 total at the Europeans, nothing less.
I'm more determined than I've ever been.
There's no room for mistakes now.
There's no room for wasted lifts, no wasted attempts,
no, "Oh, I've missed that.
"Never mind, I'll get it next time or next competition."
I don't want to look back in a year's time or in six months' time
and think, "Oh, I could have done more to get there."
It's the day before Zoe
flies to Turkey for the European Championships.
I really want bacon.
Have we got any bacon?
Can I eat tonight?
I would advise you not to.
Zoe's still nearly three kilos over the limit
for the new weight class she is now committed to.
With Olympic qualification at stake,
the team nutritionist has sent Zoe strict instructions.
"Today and tomorrow, I want you to drink five litres of water.
"You'll be going to the toilet a lot,
"but then the day before you compete,
"the hormones that hold onto the water are so low
"that when you stop drinking at 1pm,
"you'll keep going to the toilet and wake up the next morning
"a couple of kilos lighter than you were at 1pm the day before."
This is the stressful part.
She's just so frightened, you know, especially this time round,
that she's not actually going to get the chance to compete,
if the weight's not right.
And it sounds sort of dramatic but, really and truly,
not making the weight would be the most serious, almost, offence that she could do.
It's the one thing that's supposed to be under her control.
So if she were to fail,
I mean, you could say it might be the end of the Olympics for her.
So it is, really, as much pressure as that.
300mls to go.
Zoe's been turning the cupboards inside out looking.
"You must have something that I can't eat," you know.
But I've been trying to keep it to the bare minimum,
but when there's the rest of the family...
You know, we don't all want to eat the same sorts of things as Zoe.
Like today, I don't want to be drinking gallons of water.
I'm not asking you to.
I'm not asking you to drink gallons of water.
I'm just asking you not to bring McDonald's into the house
for one daughter, while the other one sits there, literally starving.
'I feel bad sometimes.'
Like, if I come home with something and then she'll just be like,
"Oh! Eat them in front of me, why don't you?"
I cook all the best foods, your steak, your asparagus,
all the best stuff, and she hates it.
She'd rather have...
What normal person wouldn't hate it?
It's not even got any nice sort of dressing on it.
It's literally just salmon and asparagus.
How is that a meal?
Where are the carbs?
She held that better than all you guys!
The European Championships are taking place
at the Turkish holiday resort of Antalya.
All the weightlifters and team members are staying at a luxury spa hotel.
The first of two Olympic qualifying competitions,
all of the girls hard work in training has been leading up to this.
But Zoe's still overweight for her category.
I've not got any boobs left any more.
-Do you remember when mine completely disappeared?
If I'm going to be over, like overweight,
you would think I would at least get a pair of boobs with that
Well, that's what I'm hoping, that I'll put on weight
and it'll just go there and everyone else will be all right.
It must be nice to be under, Hannah.
LAUGHTER It is, actually.
You will never understand what we go through! Never!
The things we sacrifice for our sport. And there's you, eating.
I have to.
Have you seen these little creations?
I love looking at things I can't eat.
Zoe has only 72 hours left to lose two kilos.
If she doesn't, she won't be able to compete
and will lose this chance to qualify for the Olympics.
But she's not alone.
It's a major part of the sport.
If you walk round the hotel at the moment,
you'll see a lot of people in and out of saunas, jumping on and off scales.
Almost, probably, 50% of the athletes here are on some sort of weight-loss strategy.
If you don't make weight, you don't compete.
The team nutritionist has given Zoe instructions for her diet plan,
but Zoe's having trouble working out what's acceptable.
Do you want some of them, Zo?
I can't be bothered with this.
Oh, God, it's still in the water.
Oh, God, I'm going to vomit.
Who would boil chicken?
Why would anyone ever think boiling chicken was a good idea?
It doesn't actually taste of anything.
Hannah is in the lowest body weight category of 48 kilos,
which means she'll be the first one to compete.
But she's injured her ankle in training.
I've just been icing it and taking ibuprofen.
It'll be all right.
I'm still lifting.
I'm excited to see what I'll lift tomorrow.
Apart from my ankle,
my training's gone brilliantly up to this competition.
I feel like it's going to go well.
The team doctor has decided to give Hannah an injection
to block the pain in her ankle.
This will be her first major international
since the disaster in Paris.
It was, like, my biggest fear
to ever bomb out because there's nothing worse.
Big pull, then punch.
Good. Hold it!
I don't believe this! It was done.
Come on. Big finish.
What is this? This weight is nothing.
Don't rush it. Come on!
Hold it, hold it!
Hold it, hold it.
It looks like Hannah has come good with her final clean and jerk.
Well done, Hannah. That's a relief.
But then the judges disqualify the lift.
-Don't do that.
-There was nothing wrong with her elbows at all.
-That was fine.
As a result, she's missed this chance to qualify.
I'm frustrated and I'm annoyed.
And just upset.
I don't want it to, like, carry on and be known as someone
that bombs and, in the end, people forget who you are.
Then all the training you do,
it doesn't matter how strong you are, if you bomb every time, It doesn't count.
My ankle was hurting my cleans.
My elbow was hurting in the jerks.
My body's just hurting so much.
It's really just starting to give up.
See you in a couple of days.
Hannah is heading home.
She's only got one chance left to qualify,
if she can make the grade at the next big competition.
I can't do this without you! Help me.
Helen and Zoe are about to have their chance.
And the nerves are starting to kick in.
I've been watching this on TV for, like,
the past six years or something and now I'm here,
but I feel like I should be at home with, like, I don't know,
some carbs maybe, and a coffee and my mum.
It's weird. I just feel like a little British kid.
It was going so well, the diet and stuff.
Then I've just put on some sort of phantom kilo.
I've not eaten anything really out of turn.
Literally, you have, like...
I think, at some point about a week ago, maybe more than that,
I had a roll from Subway.
How is a roll from Subway still here a week later.
No! That's not possible. I...
SHE SIGHS WITH FRUSTRATION
I really want to have a good competition.
Yeah, I don't know, there's just something in there that's like,
It just wants to come out.
I'm ready to go now.
I just want to get it out of the way, over and done with.
Helen and Zoe are supposed to be lifting in the same weight category.
But they both need to weigh under 58 kilos to be allowed to compete.
-What are you?
57, zero, something.
Helen is on track.
But with six hours to go, Zoe is still over by a third of a kilogram.
Have an egg, little sip of water,
then away again at...
See what you are and then decide whether
you need to do a sauna or not.
Helen is up first.
To reach the Olympic standard,
her two best lifts must add up to a combined total of 185 kilos.
That's just over 29 stone.
Easy, safe, big snatch.
Just snatch it.
You look great! Come on.
You have to drive it. You have to drive it.
There was no pull, no height to your position.
Helen's struggling with a weight she'd normally lift with ease.
I don't believe it.
Having failed all of her snatches,
it's impossible for Helen to qualify this time.
So, like Hannah,
she's going to be relying on the next competition to make it.
Absolutely gutted, really.
I'm just letting everyone down, myself as well.
It's just, like, I know I'm capable of so much more.
If I'm lifting like this, then I don't deserve to go to the Games.
I don't want to go there and make a fool of myself.
You know, I want to put in a good performance and...
-..do everyone proud.
It's Zoe's turn to weigh in.
Unless she's below 58 kilos,
her competition and this chance at qualification will end here.
Zoe is 60 grams under. She's just made it.
All good, all good.
It's over! The nightmare has ended.
Now I just have to lift some weights.
Zoe can take her place with the other competitors.
But has the last-minute weight loss taken the strength out of her?
Oh, come on, Zoe.
Hips in. Come on.
Liven yourself up! Don't be lazy, Zoe.
You make me paranoid, Zoe.
Come on. It's important.
You've never done a more important competition.
Be confident, Zoe.
COMMENTATOR: European A medal final for Britain's Zoe Smith,
17 years of age,
has come down from 63 kilos where she performed at the World Championships.
Steady from the floor, Zoe.
She's opening up at 85.
Couple of steps forward. You sense a little nervousness there.
That was a little bit forward, wasn't it, yeah?
Steady from the floor, Zoe.
Hips in. Come on.
You've got to remember she's only 17. She's the youngest of the class.
That's good, that's a much better lift.
Well done, Zoe.
Zoe's on track.
If she gets her third snatch, it'll be a personal best of 92 kilos.
That's 14 and a half stone.
It's a big lift for you, Zoe. It's the biggest lift I've ever been involved with, that's for sure.
Hold it, hold it!
-You can compete against these now, yeah?
With a good result in the snatch, she now has to do well in the clean and jerk.
Dip and punch. On your heels, on your heels. Push.
She's one lift away from the Olympic qualification target.
Big one now, Zoe. Come on.
Don't rush. Don't rush. Take your time.
Opening up here on 110.
If she aspires to get a place in the London Olympic Games...
Hips down, Zoe. Come on.
Keep pushing. Push.
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
AMERICAN COMMENTATOR: She owns this thing. Look at that!
There it is.
Zoe's reached the Olympic qualifying standard, but won't automatically be picked for the team.
That's out of the way. You've done your qualifying.
It's all about trying to keep up with these other girls.
You've only got to stay focused for another, what, 20 minutes?
Now, to give herself the best chance of selection,
she will attempt a new personal best - 116 kilos.
Don't rush it.
Twice her own body weight.
Show me how good you are, Zoe. Show me how good you are, yeah?
Come on, Zoe. Come on, Zoe. Come on!
This is a serious question.
SHOUTS OF ENCOURAGEMENT
Steady, come on. Steady.
Elbows, elbows, elbows!
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
MUSIC: "Titanium" by David Guetta
She's the champ!
Well done, darling.
It's all about qualification but she got more than that, didn't she?
-I like how you were.
I've blown the 'A' standard away!
My mum's really pleased.
I got hold of her a minute ago and the first thing she said,
"We're so proud of you, darling,"
so I'm really glad that everyone's so proud.
With London 2012 just a few months away,
there's a serious mood in the weightlifting camp,
as some tough decisions are about to be made.
That's the inside of the Olympic village.
It's really small, it's not far to go to the dining room,
not far to get to the transport and all those sort of things.
All the kit will be given out at the preparation camp.
But since returning from Turkey, Hannah's been plagued by injury.
She has come to terms with the reality of her situation.
Even if, miraculously, I could train perfect tomorrow,
I'm not going to make up for the last six weeks.
It was quite difficult to sit through the meetings today
about the Olympic village and the preparation and team selection stuff
cos I was just sitting there thinking,
"This doesn't involve me any more."
I've got no chance any more so... Yeah, it's frustrating.
I can't wait for this camp to be over, to be honest,
so I don't have to hear any more about it.
With Hannah ruling herself out,
there are now five girls left in the running for the two Olympic spots.
Following her performance in Turkey, Zoe's in a strong position,
but Helen is counting on one last chance at
the final qualifying event, the British Championships.
One spot and it's anyone's at the moment.
I've just got to work my butt off now
and really show them what I can do at the British.
If everything happens and clicks on that one day, that's all it takes.
The British Weightlifting Championships
are taking place in Derbyshire.
If Helen does well,
she can still achieve the Olympic qualification standard and get selected for the team.
I feel a lot more relaxed and happy in myself,
so hopefully that'll pay off and show in my lifting today.
I just hope that she does it all right
cos I don't like to see her upset.
There's a lot of pressure on her.
Nail it! Are you going to do it? Believe in yourself.
MOTHER: Come on, Helly!
SHOUTS OF ENCOURAGEMENT
Come on, Helly!
Helen's competition starts well,
putting her on track for Olympic qualification with her final lift.
-It's not far away.
Same as the snatch, get it on your third, get it done.
Helen's come back from major shoulder surgery to be a contender.
Deep breaths. Suck it in.
She's trained six days a week for two years.
Right, you've had a feel.
This is the one you've got to get.
Get 'em going. Let's see it!
This is her last chance.
Push! Up, up, up!
In first place, with a total of 170 kilograms, Helen Jewell.
Although Helen's come first in her weight class,
she's failed to reach the qualifying standard,
so she cannot be put forward for Olympic selection.
-Well, not quite but...
Gave everything to...to the sport.
I mean, obviously I'm gutted that I won't to be able to
go to the Games, and it's never going to come round again.
And I don't think, realistically, that I'll make the next one.
I don't think I'll still be lifting then.
But I'm... It's happened.
There's nothing I can do about it now.
Out of the three girls, Zoe's now the only one
who is eligible for Olympic selection.
Go to the Olympics!
Hips through it, hips through it.
For her, it's a waiting game to see if she's invited to join the team.
They've got to choose me, really.
I know that sounds a bit, like, big headed but no-one else has,
so I think that I can kind of say that I'm feeling pretty confident.
This May, Zoe got the news she'd been waiting for.
She became the youngest female weightlifter ever
to be selected for the Olympic team, and will now compete at London 2012.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Zoe Smith, Hannah Powell and Helen Jewell have dedicated their lives to the ultimate Olympic dream of representing Team GB at London 2012. BBC Three has been following these young teammates as they hone their skills, resist temptations and watch their weight in order to secure one of the two female spots on the British weightlifting squad.
We see how they cope with living away from home for the first time, serious injury, a relentless training schedule, travelling the world and being under the spotlight. Finding out if it's possible to balance being a serious athlete with growing up, getting an education and falling in love.
The film follows the countdown to the London Olympic Games for three young girls with an extraordinary talent. But will mental strength prove just as important as physical strength in the battle to become Britain's strongest girl?