YAMASAKI Erika < Back  
Sport Weightlifting
CGA Australia   
Gender Women
Born 02 Sep 1987 in Darwin, AUS
Height1.49 m
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Family Partner Brock
Other names Erika Ropati-Frost
Residence Brisbane, QLD, AUS
Occupation Athlete, Finance
Languages English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? She took up the sport in 2000 at the Cougars Weightlifting Club in Chandler, QLD, Australia. Before she took up weightlifting, she competed in trampolining and gymnastics.
Why this sport? She was selected during a talent identification test at her school. "I was first introduced in Year 8 by Queensland Weightlifting Association development officer Scott Robinson through the talent identification programme. That first day I clean and jerked my body weight [35kg], having never touched a weightlifting bar before in my life. The only bars I'd ever known were the uneven bars in gymnastics, the handlebars on my bike, and the many chocolate bars I'd consumed over time. Weightlifting grew on me initially. When I first started, it was a lot different to what I was used to doing. Both my parents had a massive gymnastics background. As funny as weightlifting is very different to gymnastics, they were actually both very encouraging for me to just choose a sport I loved doing myself."
Club / Team Cougars Weightlifting Club: Brisbane, QLD, AUS
Name of coach Angela Wydall [club], AUS
International Debut
Year 2005
Competing for Australia
Tournament Oceania Championships
Location Melbourne, VIC, AUS
General Interest
Hobbies Spending time with her friends and dogs, travelling, photography. (olympics.com.au, 03 Jul 2020; qwa.org, 03 Jun 2019)
Most influential person in career Coach Angela Wydall. (olympics.com.au, 03 Jul 2020)
Injuries She suffered bulging discs in her lower back several months after the 2015 National Championships in Melbourne, VIC, Australia. (gc2018.com, 15 Dec 2017)

At the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, she was forced to withdraw after injuring her elbow during the warm up. (gc2018.com, 15 Dec 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto "Weightlifting is 90% mental and 10% strength. Weightlifting is such a mental sport and so even having a thick head from being sick or a head cold, you can't focus as well as you can normally. I love being on the platform. I've been on many competition stages and for some reason, nerves usually get the better of me but when it comes to weightlifting, they don't. I just feed off it. I am in my zone and I just enjoy the idea of the sport and what it's about, and I just love competing. That's what's kept me around for so long." (gc2018.com, 15 Dec 2017)
Awards and honours She was the Australian flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa. (samoa2019.ws, 10 Jul 2019)

In 2019 she was awarded a Life Membership by the Queensland Weightlifting Association in Australia. She was also named the Best Female Lifter at the Queensland Championships. (qwa.org, 03 Jun 2019; qwa.org, 08 May 2019)
Famous relatives Her father Minoru Yamasaki represented Australia in gymnastics, and competed at the world championships in 1983 and 1985. Her partner Brock Dignan has competed in weightlifting at states level in Australia. (Brock Dignan Instagram profile, 08 Mar 2020; Athlete, 13 Nov 2014; gymnasticsnt.com.au, 2014)
Other information RIO REGRET
She said she was "devastated" to miss out on selection for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, which was partly due to injuries affecting her performance, and is aiming for redemption by competing at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. "This is my last opportunity and [carrying the flag at the 2019 Pacific Games opening ceremony in Samoa] has given me a lot of encouragement. The support of the people around me have helped me get over it [missing the 2016 Olympic Games]. That help as an athlete is so important because you're so focused on your goal. Now I feel like I really want to go on and compete at the [2020] Olympics because of them." (olympics.com.au, 03 Jul 2020; abc.net.au, 08 Jul 2019; couriermail.com.au, 27 Jun 2016)

GIVING BACK
She is a Level 2 Australian Weightlifting Federation [AWF] coach and International Weightlifting Federation [IWF] International Category 2 referee. "Over the years [speaking in 2020] I have dipped my toes in coaching, held positions on the Cougars Weightlifting Club and Queensland Weightlifting Association committees. I enjoy regularly volunteering at competitions as an official, and once I retire from competing I hope to become more involved with coaching and will continue officiating." (olympics.com.au, 03 Jul 2020; qwa.org, 03 Jun 2019)

JAPANESE HERITAGE
Her father Minoru was born and raised in Tottori, Japan. "Even though I was born and raised in Australia, I know that Japan will also feel like a second home." (abc.net.au, 23 Feb 2020)