RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Years of toil and sweat, the strain of sinew and muscle, the determination for perfection will all come down to a few seconds for Gainesville native Jenny Arthur on Friday.
The Chestatee High graduate will begin competition in the Rio 2016 Olympics, lifting in the 75-kilogram weight class against the best the world can throw at her.
Arthur is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time -- with her efforts broadcast (on delay) between 11 p.m. and 12 a.m. on NBCSN. You may also track Arthur's progress live via NBC's stream here. Chestatee High School is also planning a "watch party" at the school live on Friday.
The US medal hopeful will go up against a field that includes Lidia Valentin (Spain), Rim Jong-sim (North Korea), Maria Fernanda Valdes (Chile), Jaqueline Ferreira (Brazil), Ulbadina Valoyes Cuesta (Colombia), Gaelle Nayo-Ketchanke (France), Iryna Dekha (Ukraine), Mary Opeloge (Samoa) and Natalia Priscepa (Moldova).
As tough as the field may be, however, Arthur's battle will come against the bar, as she works for perfection in the two Olympic disciplines: clean and jerk, and snatch.
Arthur enters the competition as one of the best lifters the nation has produced in some time -- owning American records in the clean and jerk and total weight in her class -- but she is also looking to do something no US lifter has achieved since 2000 when Tara Knott and Cheryl Haworth each nabbed medals in the Sydney Games (gold and bronze, respectively).
Arthur's Chestatee High School family is excited about her Olympic status, and CHS Principal Suzanne Jarrard said school officials have declared Friday, August 12 as Jenny Arthur Day.
"We've been showing videos of Jenny at our school and trying to get our students a little more acclimated to her," Jarrard said Thursday morning on WDUN's Bill & Joel Morning Show. "She graduated in 2012, so some of them aren't as familiar with her as others of us are."
Jarrard said students and faculty will wear red, white and blue in honor of Arthur on Friday.
"We're going to gather in the theater and watch her live on live stream," Jarrard said. She also invited the community to join the celebration.
"We would love for the community to join us [in wearing red, white and blue]. She is a Chestatee alumna, but more so she is a Hall County native."
It's certain to be a memorable day.