NORTH SMITHFIELD – She’s a mother, a coach, a speech pathologist and the owner of a popular local gym.
And now at age 50, North Smithfield’s Jennifer Jasper is also a world record holder in the sport of weightlifting.
Jasper recently won the Masters World Championship in Orlando, Fla., setting the world record for snatch, clean and jerk, and the total combined record for the 50-54-year-old division.
It was a love of CrossFit that began in 2018 that reportedly first led Jasper to the competitive sport.
She got her start in the training style after joining Ocean State Crossfit in Cranston. CrossFit focuses on functional movement performed at a high intensity level, including weight lifting, and Jasper discovered she had a natural talent for the sport.
Working full time as a speech pathologist at Bernon Heights School in Woonsocket, Jasper soon began competing, and in 2021, she also became co-owner of Ocean State Cross Fit in Smithfield with her former coach.
Jasper set her sights on the weightlifting national tournament in Salt Lake City, Utah, which she won in April.
At the world championship , which took place in Florida from Thursday, Dec.1 to Saturday, Dec. 10, Jasper competed in the 50-54 age group and 76 kilogram weight class. In “snatch,” – the first of two lifts with the objective of bringing the barbell from the ground to overhead in one continuous motion – she lifted 70 kilograms, breaking the previous record of 63 kilograms.
The second lift, known as, “clean and jerk,” involves moving the barbell from the floor to a racked position. Jasper lifted 85 kilograms in clean and jerk, breaking the previous world record of 81 kilograms. Together, the lifts set the new world record at 155 kilograms from the previous record of 140, raising the bar – so to speak – a whopping 15 kilograms or 33 pounds.
Her achievements were recently highlighted on south coast radio station FUN 107, where she reportedly discussed the importance on writing down goals.
“Whenever you write down a goal, it becomes so much more real and you put yourself out there for other people to see, it’s nerve-wracking,” Jasper said. “I put my goals down and it was my focus all year.”
Jasper is also quoted as saying that weightlifting is the single best thing you can do for your body as you’re aging.
“It increases muscle mass, increases bone density, and keeps you stronger for longer,” she reportedly said. “I think we have proved time and again that women are more than capable of weight lifting.”
Jasper plans to compete in the International Crossfit competition “Wodapalooza” in Miami, Fla. next month, according to the feature.