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Athletes > Natalie Woolfolk > Bio

Born: November 07, 1983
Buffalo, OK
Residence: Colorado Springs, CO
Ht: / Wt: 5'3" / 135 lbs
Event(s): Women's weightlifting
Position: 62kg
Casey Burgener proposed to Natalie Woolfolk on an elephant safari after the 2007 World Championships in Thailand.
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Casey Burgener proposed to Natalie Woolfolk on an elephant safari after the 2007 World Championships in Thailand.

Parental guidance
Woolfolk's parents can be trusted for guidance and advice in her career.  Her father, Kirk, is the strength and conditioning coach at the U.S. Naval Academy, and her mother, Amy Frank, trained bodybuilders.

From mat to platform
Woolfolk's first sporting love was gymnastics.  She became a level-10 gymnast, but quit when a growth spurt hit in junior high school.  She took up running track and soccer, and told her father that she would lift just to keep in shape.  Eventually, she found success and enjoyment in lifting.  Her gymnastics background helped her immensely: sense of balance, flexibility and body awareness translated into excellent technique and heavier lifts.  Before long (the story goes), she was out-lifting her own father.  For two years, she practiced at the Naval Academy with her father and his students before moving her workouts to a weight room in her home garage after 9/11.

Go west, young lady
Woolfolk visited the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for the first time in the summer before her senior year of high school.  When a full-time residency spot opened up, she left Maryland to devote her attention to making the 2008 Olympic team.  By 2006, she held the American record in the 63kg division.  She won national championships three consecutive years (2005-07) and earned USA Weightlifting's Lifter of the Year award in 2006 and 2007.

Sharing the Dream
Woolfolk has joined gymnast Shannon Miller, hockey player Angela Ruggiero and weightlifting teammate Cheryl Haworth on modern pentathlete Sheila Taormina's "Share the Dream" project.  The quintet has traveled by RV to various locations across the country giving motivational speeches and speaking with young female athletes about training, diet and having fun in sports.

Thai-ing the knot
After the Weightlifting World Championships in September 2007, held in Thailand, Woolfolk's boyfriend and USA teammate (men's 105+kg) Casey Burgener, proposed to her on an elephant safari (read more).


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