Olympic weightlifting champion Emily Campbell struggled to get sponsorship because of her size

Emily Campbell, weightlifting Olympic medalist has revealed that she struggled to get sponsored because of her clothing size

Emily Campbell
(Image credit: Chris Graythen / Staff / Getty Images)

Emily Campbell is an Olympic weightlifter who just competed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and won a Silver medal for Britain. Despite her incredible success the star struggled to get sponsorship for her Olympic journey. 

She won an Olympic Silver medal for weightlifting in the women's 87kg+ category. 

Although Emily has had incredible success, the Olympic athlete struggled to gain sponsorships and has spoken about the lack of inclusivity from brands when it comes to clothing for plus-sized women. 

In May of 2021, Emily spoke to ITV about the lack of diversity in sizes when it comes to women's gym wear. 

ITV reported, "renowned brands have offered to work with her, but when she tells them her measurements, she says they often lose interest as they don't cater to women above a size 16."


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Emily struggled to gain sponsorship with her father Trevor Campbell telling the Evening Standard that she "had no sponsorship at all."

“I am so proud of my daughter; I know how hard she has worked to get to this position, so I am proud for her doing it," he said.

“She has been training really, really hard, we have had no sponsorship at all, just mum and dad’s bank, so for her to come out with a silver medal at the Olympics, I am so over the moon. You have not heard the last of her.”

Emily Campbell

(Image credit: MOHD RASFAN / Contributor/ Getty Images)

Emily revealed that her size typically ranges from a UK Size 18 to Size 22 and although it is perfect for her weightlifting career, it is not conducive to sponsorships.

She told ITV, "Sometimes I do have to settle for men's clothes and I don't want to settle for men's clothes, I'm a woman, I don't want to wear a man's cut, it's not flattering and it doesn't feel great. Why should I have to go to the gym and not feel great about the clothes that I'm in?"

Emily had even petitioned Gymshark to widen their range of gym wear so that larger women are able to buy activewear too.

A Gymshark spokesperson responded saying, "We can confirm that we are developing larger sizes for both women and men, something that has been in progress for the past 9 months. 

"It takes time to bring new sizes to market but we know actions speak louder than words. That's why we'd like to invite Emily to test some of the new lines. After she's bought home that medal from Tokyo."

Emily told BBC Sport ahead of her Tokyo win that she wanted, "to prove that women who look like me can have successful careers in sport."

After winning the Olympic medal, Emily told BBC Sport, "I am speechless, for the first time ever."

"You know you can get in shape coming into these things, you know you want to perform your best, but to actually put it out on the stage, I'm really thrilled."

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She concluded, "You can achieve anything you want to achieve. I picked up a barbell five years ago for the first time and now I am an Olympic silver medallist."

As well as fighting for size inclusivity from brands, Emily has also worked to break down diversity barriers for the Transgender community. 

The star supported Laurel Hubbard the first Transgender woman to compete at the Olympics, and defended her participation in the Tokyo Games.

"I believe everyone should be able to do something they love and she qualified in her own right like the rest of us girls. Everyone has been very opinionated about it but I think everyone is kind of forgetting about her feelings," said Emily. 

Laura Harman

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.

Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.