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    Weightlifter Sarah Robles's Journey To The Olympics Is Looking Up

    Robles's story of fighting poverty and body-image issues on her way to the London games has resonated with thousands of people since appearing in Time magazine and on BuzzFeed Shift. Thanks to their help, she's raised a bundle of money and accrued a legion of supporters rallying to get her sponsorships, magazine covers, and more. Here's a full update on what's new with her career.

    1. She's raised more than $16,000.

    Shortly after the BuzzFeed story was published, Robles' friend Dustin Kerns started a campaign on fundraising website Indiegogo to raise money to help Robles and her coach, Joe Micela, prepare for and travel to London. Since posting the link in our comments section and across the Web, he's raised $16,000. (You can still donate here.)

    2. Fans rallied to get her more sponsorships.

    Think Progress started a petition to get Robles sponsored by Nike. Meanwhile, on Twitter, people urged Dove, which is famous for its "Real Beauty" ad campaign, to take on Robles.

    3. She landed one new sponsor.

    Solve Media has agreed to sponsor Robles for the London games. The online advertising company that serves brands like Toyota and Expedia hopes to raise Robles's profile, too. (She had just one major sponsor — PowerBar — before the story appeared.)

    4. She went to the Capitol.

    To celebrate the Fourth of July as a member of Team USA. (She had been invited prior to the profile running.)

    5. She got some new fans.

    The Facebook kind, obviously! When the BuzzFeed story came out, Robles had just 350 "likes" on Facebook. Today, she has more than 3,800.

    6. Famous people tweeted about her.

    Dan Savage tweeted about Robles multiple times to his 87,000 followers. And Hulk Hogan re-tweeted a post about Robles from Dustin Kerns (the friend who started her Indiegogo campaign) to his nearly 370,000 followers.

    7. She chatted with a few hundred Redditors about wanting to start a clothing line.

    Robles did an IAmA session, and supportive Reddit users applauded her strength and sense of humor. When asked what famous person she would most like to meet, she said Weird Al. She also announced on Reddit that she's considering starting her own line of athletic wear (she often blogs about the struggle to find workout clothes that fit).

    8. A petition launched to get her on the cover of "Sports Illustrated."

    "By perpetuating beauty standards that, let's face it, have little to do with athletic achievement, Sports Illustrated creates an artificial barrier to women who deviate from fashion-model good looks, no matter their sports achievements," the petition reads. "By featuring the U. S. Women's Weightlifting Olympic team on their cover, Sports Illustrated would be making a strong statement confirming their commitment to their true mandate; celebrating the achievements of great athletes, whether they look like swimsuit models or not." It's only got 64 signatures as of press time.

    9. Tomorrow, she leaves for London.

    So, go ahead and wish this Team USA star some luck. She competes on Aug. 5 — we'll be watching.


    Your support is helping make my wildest dreams come true.

    Your support is helping make my wildest dreams come true. Sarah Robles

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