'Tough day at the office': civil servant tells of Commonwealth Games weightlifting disappointment

British Championship double-silver medallist Jodey Hughes say HMRC has been the "best employer to support me on my journey"
Jodey Hughes (left). Photo: PA/Alamy

By Tevye Markson

12 Aug 2022

A civil servant and British Championship double-silver medallist weightlifter has described her disappointment at losing out on a medal at the Commonwealth Games.  

Jodey Hughes, who works for HM Revenue and Customs in debt management, said last month that her employer had been “incredibly supportive” of her preparations for the tournament.  

Canadian-born Hughes, 39, failed to reach the clean and jerk medal rounds in the women’s weightlifting 55kg final on July 30, as she was unable to achieve a snatch lift in three attempts at the Birmingham games. 

In a lengthy Instagram post, she described the performance as “the biggest bomb” of her life and a “tough day at the office”.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jodey Hughes (@jjodey)

And she told Lanarkshire Live Sport her performance “certainly did not reflect” her efforts and investment over the last four years. 

“I’ve spent time reflecting on the performance. In the lead up to the games, I was in the best possible shape but for some reason, it all didn’t come together on the day, and I’m taking some time to process and understand why,” she said. 

“Weightlifting is a tough sport, mentally and physically and you need to be ready to accept the lows to fully appreciate the highs. 

“It just stings more when you have those lows on an international stage.” 

A silver medallist at the last two British Championships, Hughes had hoped to reach the podium in the 55kg event having qualified for the games in fifth place.   

“My aim for the games was to medal. Had I had an opportunity to progress to the clean and jerks, I would have finished just shy of that goal.” 

In an interview with the Civil Service Sports Council on July 26, Hughes said: “My work have been incredibly supportive.  

“HMRC have given me the time I need to train and compete. They really have been the best employer to support me on my journey. There is give and take where I work extra when needed, but there’s a level of trust there that just works. Plus, I really love my job, which helps when balancing my time and makes work much less of a chore.” 

Hughes, who moved to Scotland in 2006, only took up weightlifting eight years ago, having been inspired by the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. 

She is now the first woman in Scotland to compete at two commonwealth games in weightlifting. 

Discussing her plans for the future, she said: “I’m not entirely sure what my next move is just yet but I know I’m not ready to retire. I’m feeling really fit and healthy so I’m not going to let one bad performance bring me down”, she said. 

“I’m really positive about my next chapter and if you know me, you’ll know it will be something big.” 

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