Brittany Diamond ’14

Things Brittany Diamond ’14 could, theoretically, lift: one full oil drum, one empty dumpster, a piano, a motorcycle.

The newly minted pro Strongwoman — she placed third in the Strongest Woman in the World competition in Las Vegas in September — Diamond can deadlift 455 pounds, pull 540 pounds for 50 feet and put up 210 pounds in a log overhead press.

“I like situations where 100 percent of the pressure is on me.” Brittany Diamond

She also bore the financial responsibility of her education, earning an athletic scholarship in rowing, a sport she hadn’t even attempted before URI. “It was the only way I could afford URI,” Diamond said. “I told my parents I would win enough scholarships to afford it.”

She did — and developed a passion for weightlifting in the process.

A freshman walk-on to a Division 1 team, Diamond loved rowing but most looked forward to the days devoted to strength and conditioning training. “It was the one aspect of rowing I did alone, and I like situations where 100 percent of the pressure is on me.”

In her junior year, Diamond competed in a novice Strongwoman competition and won. She was hooked.

Diamond says her education — B.A. in communication studies, minor in Gender and Women’s Studies — enables her to leverage her Strongwoman title to advance a message of “body positivity.” Once a peer advocate and now a personal trainer, Diamond is one of only 50 professional Strongwomen in the world. In college, she and her teammates were weight obsessed. “I was 30 pounds less than I weigh now,” Diamond said. “I feel a responsibility to educate women about healthy weight.”

“And for the first time, people are letting go of the stigma that strong women are manly. I’m here to show people you can be a strong woman, compete and celebrate your femininity.”