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Six days a week since she was 12 years old, with only a few days of time away each year, Hou Zhihui has been driven by one mission: Heaving more than double her body weight into the air.

On Saturday, at the Tokyo Olympics, Hou’s dedication — sequestered from her family, dogged by near constant pain — paid off. She won gold in the 49-kilogram division and shattered three Olympic records, part of a fearsome Chinese women’s weightlifting squad that aimed to sweep every weight class it was contesting.

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