OU student headed to the Tokyo Summer Olympics


Sophie Hume

OU student Kate Nye will be competing at the Tokyo Olympics.

When you come back to campus this fall, there’s a chance you’ll walk past a U.S. Olympian. 

Kate Nye, an Oakland University student majoring in health science, will be headed to Tokyo next month to represent the U.S. in the Olympics as a weightlifter. Nye found her love for weightlifting through CrossFit.

“I was a gymnast for 11 years, basically my whole childhood, then I decided to quit when I was about 15,” Nye said. “Then after I quit, I gained a lot of weight, and decided to go into CrossFit to get back into shape. Then through CrossFit, I found weightlifting, and it kind of just built from there. By the time I went to youth nationals in 2016, I decided to take weightlifting on full time and quit CrossFit.”

According to NBC, Nye won the 2019 world title in the women’s 71 kg/157 lbs. division and became the youngest women’s world champion, but she will move up to the 76 kg/167 lbs. category so she can compete at the Olympics. She is currently ranked fourth in the world in that division.

The 22-year-old chose Oakland mainly because it was close to home. Hailing from Oakland Township, Nye needed a university that could accommodate her training schedule. 

“I wanted to pursue a weightlifting career first and foremost,” Nye said. “So [Oakland] ended up being pretty much the best option at that point in my life so I could stay home and focus on training instead of getting wrapped up in an on campus experience. So honestly it was just the best option for me at the time, but I’ve really come to love OU and I’m really glad I ended up here because it’s allowed me a lot of freedom in my life [that] I feel like I wouldn’t have had if I went somewhere else.”

Nye has recently opened up about her struggles with mental illness. She said she’s able to manage those struggles by not putting too much stress on herself.

“I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the summer of 2019,” Nye said. “It was pretty rough at the time, being undiagnosed and just kind of dealing with it without any help or understanding of my symptoms. But when I got that diagnosis, it gave me the opportunity to get better.

“Right now I really just try to stay in tune with what’s going on with my mental health and try to live my life accordingly. I think a lot of people deal with mental health issues and I think if you can manage them and not put too much on yourself and not be too hard on yourself, it can really help. I have good days and bad days, but mostly good days now.”

Nye likes to read and spend time with her dogs in her free time.

“I have two German shepherds that I love, Theo and Danny,” Nye said. “They’re my world. Then I also have really gotten back into reading over the past year, and most recently me and my husband started gardening so that’s been interesting.”

Nye said she is “honored” to represent her country in the Olympics.

“I’ve always been really proud to be an American,” Nye said. “I think that paired with my greatest passion which is obviously weightlifting, there’s nothing that could be better and a bigger dream of mine, than to represent the red, white, blue on the Olympic platform.”

The Tokyo Olympics begin July 23. Nye’s division will compete on Sunday, Aug. 1 from either 1:50-4 p.m. or 7:50-10 p.m. (Japan Standard Time).