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Rayen Cupid

Rayen Cupid (MA Education) at the Pan American Weightlifting Championships

Journey to Olympic weightlifting qualification for Performance Sport Bursar-Rayen Cupid

Current University of Exeter Performance Sport Bursar Rayen Cupid (MA Education) recently headed to the Pan American Weightlifting Championships in her bid for Olympic qualification. She is the first female to represent Saint Vincent & The Grenadines in weightlifting, previously winning the British Championships in 2019 and finishing 7th in the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018. 

The Pan American Weightlifting Championships is one of the final qualifying events for weightlifters to qualify for Tokyo 2020. With the final competition cycle cut short as a result of COVID 19 and the multiple lockdowns, the qualification process for the Olympic games has been somewhat unique.  

We caught up with Rayen to reflect on her Olympic qualification journey so far….. 

I decided to study to benefit from the University's Performance Sport Bursary, it has helped me immensely during this cycle. However, I knew maintaining my studies would be an added stress. Though this is just some of the things I have had to do to make this work. Keep a career, train and be the best mum I can be. I came 7th (at the Pan American Championships) after a year out of competition, falling very ill at the end of 2019 and having no equipment to train with until September last year. It's not an excuse but the reality of the situation. I am no stranger to challenge and if anything, that is the best part of participating in this sport. I find out in June 2021 of my official place. 

Currently in Saint Vincent & The Grenadines the volcanic activity has devastated the island. I have family there too that I know are strong willed and will see this time through. My being on the Olympic stage is for their success in surviving this natural disaster, it's for the young and old who dream, and I encourage them to keep working towards those goals; even when circumstances make that journey difficult.  The one thing I have learnt is that it's important to deeply believe in yourself and keep creating your own magic. It's been hard, real hard but it will be worth it”. 

Rayen Cupid (MA Education and University of Exeter Performance Sport Bursar, 2020-2021) 

Best of luck to Rayen with her Olympic qualification from all of us at University of Exeter Sport. We look forward to following the rest of her journey as a student athlete at the highest level in her sport. 

Rayen currently benefits from the University of Exeter’s Performance Sport Bursary Scheme. This annual award includes financial support for training, competition and athlete expenses as well as athlete lifestyle support with 1 to 1 mentoring from a member of the performance sport team. For more information on the University’s Performance Sport Bursary and Sports Scholarship Scheme. Please visit our website:  

Date: 4 May 2021