News Interview Olympic Weightlifting Pro Athletes

Kuo Hsing-Chun Interview – The 2023 World Weightlifting Championships In Riyadh

Meet Taiwanese lifter Kuo Hsing-chun – an athlete with a philosopher’s mindset in weightlifting. She proves that proper attitude, spirits, and mentality can also dominate this strength-training-oriented sport.

Kuo is targeting the Olympic Games in Paris. Having the following titles and wins – 5 World Champion titles, 3 Olympic Games, with bronze and gold from Rio and Tokyo in 58 and 59-weight classes respectively. Moreover, she shattered 11 senior world records in her career. 

We’re here to discover her attitude and approach to lifting weights with meticulous preparation, expressing passion and strong will on the way to great wins.

A Blend of Mental Balance and Preserving Physical Form 

While preparing for the interview, we discovered that Kuo played a lot of different sports since childhood. And then, she unexpectedly transferred to Olympic weightlifting.

  • Why did you choose weightlifting over team sports after playing basketball, football, and track and field in your childhood?

“This happened because when I started my way in weightlifting I got the attention of our Taiwan coaches. They thought that my development in weightlifting would be better than in the other team sports.”

An interesting fact about Kuo is that she is the first female Taiwan weightlifter, being posted on Vogue’s magazine cover. She explained this by saying:

  • Being the first female Taiwan weightlifter on Vogue’s cover is unique. Can you share your experience and its significance to you?

“I feel honored to be shown in one of the latter magazines. With the help of the beauty shown in the magazine I want to let people change the impression of female weightlifters. I think females have some special features and these features can be very beautiful. I think there are some stereotypes and the image created by the stores.

Thatʼs why I am very happy to have such an opportunity to show some of my own beautiful features and I also hope that maybe everyone will just like this kind of image of the female athlete.”

Maintaining Perfect Condition to Show Stable Results 

Starting from 2012, Kuo showed her total weight of more than 230 kg in most major international competitions. While her best ever personal achievement was 249 kg at the 2017 Summer Universiade. For now she’s maintaining such a high result for more than 10 years that is a very difficult task. Kuo explained us how it’s possible:

  • How do you consistently perform at such a high level in the 59 kg category?

“I think it’s about having a very clear goal. My goal for myself is to maintain a total of at least 230 kilograms in every competition. It can be more, but at least 230 kg. If you have such a clear goal, you are going to have more ideas and motivation during your training process. I think this is the main reason.”

Speaking about her training regime, Kuo performs meticulously warming-up showing her dedication. She invests a lot of time in mobility exercises. Kuo also performs different specific accessory, stability, and functional training drills. She specified a bit more about her workout routine.

  • Why do you focus on accessory and stability exercises in your training?

“This is divided into many stages. I think you must have some support for your movement when lifting weights. All kinds of processes are needed when lifting. During the lifting we use many small parts of the body to support and stabilize the entire movement. 

Because of the fact I have been practicing weightlifting for a long time I know that there are often some muscle imbalances. That’s why I use some time to train the support in my movements. 

Sometimes I practice unilateral movements, sometimes some coordination and then combine them. Any kind of softness can actually affect your weightlifting movements, so extra support and balance training should be done. I believe it is a very important part for weightlifters.”

Being a skillful lifter, Kuo has already proved her success with the following principles:

  • What are your 3 keys to success in sport?

“I think first of all, you must have a very clear goal, and then this goal does not have to be very far. The process of reaching this goal should be divided into separate stages and then you can just move forward. The second one is:  focus more on both your body and mind. The third is: maintain your enthusiasm and just enjoy this sport.”

Kuo’s Path to the Olympic Games 

Now Kuo stands on the threshold of her fourth Olympic Games. We asked about her set for the upcoming competition and what goals she outlined for her.

She came to the world championship to be selected for the Olympics. The Olympics in Paris will be one of the most important starts in her career, that’s why she signed up in group C to try and get something.

  • Looking back to the previous Olympic cycle, can you say you and your team did everything right?

Four years ago… I feel now that I am truly grateful for my past self both for my physical and psychological strength and my strong willpower to persevere. The biggest hope for me now is to maintain physical and mental health. 

I understand that the next few years may not be as good as before, but I hope to enjoy this competitive environment and also hope that my performance can let more people love weightlifting.”

  • Do you prioritize winning medals or achieving new records during competitions?

“OK, before today’s competition, I thought I would focus on medals and then consider the results. Now, due to some tragic reasons, I have to climb this mountain again and that’s why I need to focus on my results. Only by getting over this can it be possible to compete for the medals.”

About Her Training with the Team

She works in her team together with her partners. Her warm-up usually takes a lot of time. She also works with exercises for mobility for a very long time and assigns a very important role to it, maybe even a key one. Each small exercise is a small element in the overall preparation. 

It is also interesting, maybe this is due to the fact that Kuo did not plan to lift much, but she could do a lot of training with a barbell weighing about 40 kg. Notes all approaches in a notebook, treat the process meticulously. 

There is no tense atmosphere in the team, although the approach to training is serious, and Kuo and his team find time for jokes between sets.

Conclusion 

Kuo is a weightlifter-philosopher, who already has a very long experience of performing at competitions that the average athlete of the female category is already finishing her career. 

We are impressed that Kuo has enormous experience behind her shoulders, having passed all stages of sports development, winning a significant number of medals, and remains with a fire in her eyes.

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Tanya Shaiko

Author: Tanya Shaiko
News Editor, Olympic Lifting Enthusiast

Oly Lifting Experience: 6 years
Best ResultsSnatch – 61 kg,
C&J – 78 kg

I’m Tanya, and I just can’t do without fitness. About six years ago, I got into Olympic weightlifting and instantly fell in love with it. Weightlifting is like no other sport – it’s just you versus the bar. Driven by my unwavering passion for an active lifestyle, I’ve been eager to share my personal journey and sports enthusiasm with others. As a journalist and photographer, my interests come full circle, adding an extra dimension to the news column that I curate. This way, I keep my readers updated with the latest happenings in the sports world.

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