Today on December 5, 2015 at my final Ontario Junior competition, I broke 2 Junior and Senior records in the snatch. I snatched 92kg breaking my previous record of 88kg. I was ecstatic about hitting that number after attempting it many times in competition, but when the clean and jerk session came around I couldn’t even clean 110kg in any of my three attempts. I was so bewildered because just the previous week I had clean and jerked 115kg, so I had no idea what was going on. And to add insult to injury, I had just missed my best female lifter Sinclair by missing that lift! Read more...

The Struggle

Being an Olympic Weightlifter is not easy; trying to be successful at anything is never easy. I have never liked training. I have never liked the burning sensation of reps, having to push my body to its breaking point everyday, and going home exhausted, not having enough energy to even take a shower. I have never liked the soreness in my body the next morning following a particularly difficult training. I have never liked the hard work I have to put in to get the results I want. But, in my mind, I have no choice. I do this because I want to, because I love, crave and am addicted to success. It is a constant grind; having to wake up when every single muscle, ligament and bone in my body is telling me not to; taking the TTC transit to training, all the while motivating myself for another training session.

The toughest part of being an Olympic Weightlifter is getting through a sticking point. A sticking point is when an athlete is at a standstill in weights, where there are no personal best being made, pretty much stagnant. It is essentially a mental block, and I have to constantly remind myself that “I am a champion and this is what champions endure, this is just mental” and to “keep pushing through”. My dad/coach always tells me to “just work!” when I’m having a particularly tough session. Ultimately, the struggle is well worth it. It is worth it every time I step out onto the podium to collect a medal, and it will be even more worth it when I step out onto the ultimate podium, the Olympic podium to collect the ultimate medal!

The Hookgrip Spartakiad Competition

I was super excited to compete at the Hookgrip Spartakiad competition in Philadelphia on October 4. It’s always fun and exciting to travel out of the country to compete. My family and I were having a good time shopping and passing time waiting for the big day. The morning of, I woke up feeling awful! I was puking, experiencing diarrhea, excruciating abdominal pain and cold sweats. I had no idea what was going on! Turned out I had FOOD POISONING! It was so bad my mom considered taking me to the hospital, I was almost certain that I would not be competing that evening based on how I looked and was feeling. Couple of hours later I was feeling a lot better, I had taken pain relieve pills my mother had given me. A few more bouts of vomiting, the runs and abdominal pain I was able to sleep, thanks to the all the TLC my mother had given me. I was able to compete that evening no question.

Hours before the competition, I was very anxious about how I’d perform, considering how sick I was. I was planning to open with a lot higher numbers but seeing how the morning went, I had no option but to lower my attempts. In the middle of the session when the snatches were over, my sister Kia ran up to me excited and said “MAYA!!! You came second in the snatch!!!” I was so shocked and thrilled, that that was all I was thinking about from then on. Turns out I placed 3rd in the clean and jerk, 2nd in the snatch, and 2nd overall. So in total I was awarded three Hookgrip metals. This experience helped me learn a lot about myself and how far I can push mentally and physically. I am very proud of my performance after battling a debilitating bout of food poisoning that very morning.

Birthday Record at Variety Village Open

After returning from a 6th place, not so good performance at the IWF Junior Worlds Poland June 11th by her personal standards. Maya competed at the Variety Village Open on her birthday July 4th and breaks her clean & jerk record of 112kg/247lbs with 115kg/253lbs. She totalled 200kg and won the best lifter award for pound for pound strongest female. Happy Birthday Maya!

Young Olympic Weightlifter has Pan Am in Sight

Original Source: Tough Competition Magazine

Maya Laylor lifts over 400-pounds on her best competition days.

As an Olympic weightlifter, she trains up to six hours a day perfecting the snatch and clean and jerk. Both lifts combined have 18 total incorrect movements that any athlete is susceptible of committing.

It is a sport with so much attention on the weight and heavy lift aspects that many look past the technical strategy needed to be successful.

How much weight the athlete lifted is a far more popular question than how fast they lifted it, or how fluid the movement was.

This sport has more to it than a heavy weight reputation, just as Laylor is more than her muscular, fit figure… Full Story.


Soon after the Winter Lift, I had received email after email from the Share newspaper which is Canada’s largest ethnic newspaper, The Toronto Star, and CBC news. They all wanted to interview me and hear about my story as a young and upcoming female Olympic weightlifter. The Ward and Al Show on SiriusXM Satellite Radio also contacted me and asked if I will be able to talk on their show this coming Thursday, February 26, 2015.

The Toronto Star came out with my story on the front cover of the sports section a day after our interview and CBC actually featured me in the 6 o’clock news, while the Share plastered my face on the cover of their paper! I have never received or expected so much publicity, and I never dreamed of it. But, I am truly grateful for all of the attention that has come my way and for all of the attention that has been brought to Olympic weightlifting in Ontario, and particularly from the female perspective.

Things Don’t Always Go As Planned

Usually I have to lose weight for my weigh-ins, but this time I actually had to gain weight for this year’s Junior Canadian Championships in Winnipeg for the 75kg weight class. As a strategic move, our team’s head coach decided to place me in that category the night before the competition (I’m usually a 69kg competitor and 75kg is the next class up). At that time, my weight was 69.5kg and the next morning, day of the competition, I was only 68.4kg.

At this weight I would not have been able to lift because I was UNDERWEIGHT!! Now that was a first!! If I wasn’t so worried about missing the competition, it might have been comical! But, it wasn’t. I had never faced this dilemma before. After your weigh-in time, you have an hour to lose or gain weight in order to lift in your chosen weight class. So here I was running back and forth from wolfing down breakfast at the restaurant to the weigh-in room. I was stuffing my face with lots food and even more liquid. Luckily, the competition venue was in the hotel along with the restaurant. There was 20 minutes remaining for the weigh-in and within that time I had weighed myself twice. Finally, by the third weigh session, I had made weight! Halleluiah!!! After struggling and at times panicking about losing weight for my 69kg weigh-ins, never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that I would experience the stress of having to GAIN weight! Let me just tell you that neither is an easy experience to face. That was definitely one of the most interesting mornings I’ve ever had before my competitions.

Being a Female Olympic Weightlifter

As a female lifter I have to take many things into consideration for competitions, like having your “monthly cycle” on the day of an important competition! Today I had the Ontario Junior Championships and it didn’t go as well as I would have liked.

For the last few weeks I was having great training sessions and thought I had this competition in the bag.

But I thought wrong!

Days leading up to the competition mother nature decided it was the perfect time to bless me with her gift.

I have noticed around this time I get weaker, my strength dips and my performance decreases.

Today I learned you have to roll with the punches, no matter what life throws at you.


Sometimes I wonder if anyone out there actually reads or can relate to my blogs. However, today at the Ontario Junior Championships, I met a sweet and strong 13 year old girl and her parents who told me how much they’ve appreciated reading my blogs. They said that they can relate to my honesty and humor. Hearing this motivates me to continue to help young lifters and the up and coming by continuing to share my thoughts and experiences. I thank you guys and really value your positive feedback.

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My Braids

I like to look good, and being a black female Olympic Weightlifter doesn’t change that. I love to get my hair done regularly. I usually rock curly hair, but needed a change, so I got box braids (hair extensions) to change up my look. While I was getting them done, it had occurred to me that the hair was heavy and it would cause me to have to lose extra weight for my weigh-in’s. I was freaking out before my last competition at the 2014 Fall Classic, because I had a kilo to lose the morning of. I was seriously considering going to up to the 75kg category because I was becoming really stressed out and felt that I would not be able to lose enough weight in time. My coach told me to try a few kosher weight loss methods, and take a steam bath while wearing lots of heavy clothing. I had to take an hour steam bath in order to lose one kilo. The first was 30mins and I came out and hadn’t lost anything, then my coach told me to go back in again. The second time was the charm, it actually worked! I made weight. It’s hard enough maintaining my weight, but now I have to seriously consider the type of hairstyles I choose to wear before competition.