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The strongest woman in America - How much money Olympic athletes really makeThe strongest woman in America

Sports / How much money Olympic athletes really make / The strongest woman in America

Sarah Robles has been hailed as the strongest woman in America, and she definitely earned that title with a seventh place finish in weightlifting's top weight class at the 2012 Olympics. Her path to the London Games was not, however, paved with fame and fortune. According to Buzzfeed, Robles trained for the Olympics by supplementing her $400 monthly stipend from USA Weightlifting with visits to food banks, donations from friends and family, and what she called "prayers and pity."

Endorsements are few and far between for females in her sport. "Women weightlifters aren't go-tos when Sports Illustrated is looking for athletes to model body paint in the swimsuit issue," reported Buzzfeed. "And male weightlifters often get their sponsorships from supplements or diet pills, because their buff, ripped bodies align with male beauty ideals. Men on diet pills want to look like weightlifters—most women would rather not."

Fellow Olympic weightlifting medalist Cheryl Haworth summed it up. "Being an Olympian isn't always glamorous. We don't get tons of dough. Maybe one or two percent of athletes can actually make a living off it," she told Buzzfeed. "It's a sacrifice that not everyone is willing to make…Sarah's ability to get through those tough times really sets her apart."

Robles found a way to return to the Olympic Games and go for gold in Rio in 2016.

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