12-year-old Lady's Island weightlifter makes history - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Lady's Island weightlifter makes history

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LADY'S ISLAND, SC (WTOC) -

A 12-year-old Lady's Island boy is on his way to making history. He will be the youngest person ever to compete in the Youth World Weightlifting Championships in Russia.

Clarence "CJ" Cummings Jr. was just 10 years old when he first picked up a weight. It was just a hobby, something he did with his sister in his free time.

"I just kept doing what I was doing and I was there," CJ said.

Two years later, He's ranked number one in the country in his age division.

"I had to go through a lot, eating right, getting good rest, and sleep, and doing a lot of core exercises," said CJ.

It may sound difficult for someone so young, but his coach says weightlifting is in CJ's blood.

"CJ's older sister, in the early 90s, started with me when she was like 9-years-old, and she won a bunch of national titles for her age group, and actually competed internationally," said Ray Jones, CJ's coach.

She didn't make it as far as CJ, no one has.

In Russia, he'll compete against 15, 16 and 17 year olds.

"This is uncharted waters in the history of weightlifting. When you're talking about in  the history of weightlifting in the United States, the oldest before CJ to compete at a world international meet was 14," said Jones.

CJ said it was Ray's tough-as-nails coaching style that got him where he is.

"I have not done it. They've done it. All I've done was guide them," Jones said. "They're the ones that sacrificed and put in the hard work."

And if they keep working hard, coach Jones said CJ and his teammates will make it to the 2016 Olympics.

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