The 2021 Nike North American Open Series Finals powered by Rogue featured a surprise star-studded field that included half the members of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Weightlifting Team.
Mackenzie Miller, a resident of Caswell County, was one of the participants in the star-studded field.
Miller lives in Ruffin and trains in Greensboro at Out of Step Barbell with trainers Rob Turner and Jacob Crews. Her parents, David and Melissa Miller, accompanied the 21 year old on her trip to Denver Colorado to participate in the event. Not able to attend the meet, her brother, Bailey Miller, currently serving in the United States Marine Corps overseas in Japan, sent words of encouragement and support from abroad.
Athletes contended for titles across all 20 body-weight categories from Friday morning, Dec. 3, through Sunday evening, Dec. 5. Miller competed in the 18 to 34 year old class. The longstanding competition was renamed from American Open to North American Open in 2020, to include athletes from Canada, though the 2020 Finals that were held virtually.
Five hundred and seventy six athletes were slated to compete at the meet, which truly demonstrates that weightlifting is for “anyone, anywhere.” The youngest competitor was 12 years old, while the oldest in the field was 78. Lifters hailed from 46 states, plus the District of Columbia.
Miller strives to be a role model for young girls that like to think and compete outside of so-called societal norms.
The South Atlantic was the most represented region with nearly 26 percent of competitors hailing from Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.
While many of the athletes competing at the Finals embraced the spotlight of such a prestigious stage for the first time, the field also included over a dozen who have represented Team USA abroad.
After the conclusion of all events, Miller brought back to Caswell a Silver Medal in the Clean and Jerk and a Silver Medal in the overall competition.
Miller is a captivating young woman. Aside from being a weightlifter, USA Olympic contender, and training countless hours at Out of Step Barbell, she has also developed an entrepreneurial spirit.
She has an Etsy store, Carolina Clay Co. where she sells handmade ornamental earrings.