PRETORIUS Mona < Back  
Sport Weightlifting
CGA South Africa   
Gender Women
Born 12 Aug 1988 in Port Elizabeth, SAF
Height1.63 m
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Family Partner James de Lacey
Residence Bucharest, ROU
Occupation Athlete, Coach
Languages Afrikaans, English
Higher education Sports Science - Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University : Port Elizabeth, RSA
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? She got involved in sport at age eight. She started doing weightlifting as part of her physical education classes at school in 2000, and then began using it to improve her strength for karate. She decided to focus solely on weightlifting at age 16.
Why this sport? "What made me fall in love with the sport was basically when I started travelling. I went overseas and saw other females doing weightlifting. I saw females who had been doing the sport for many years, how well they'd built and kept their feminism. You can actually still be a female and be strong and do the sport of Olympic lifting."
Name of coach Anton Ficzi [personal]; Pieter Pretorius [father]
Training Regime In 2019 she began training at the Dynamo Sports Club in Bucharest, Romania.
International Debut
Year 2003
Competing for South Africa
Tournament All Africa Games
Location Abuja, NGR
General Interest
Hobbies Boxing, mixed martial arts. (, 12 Apr 2017)
Most influential person in career Her father Pieter Pretorius. (, 18 Aug 2018)
Hero / Idol Her father. (, 29 Mar 2013)
Injuries She ruptured her quadricep tendon while competing at the 2018 World Championships in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. (, 25 Apr 2019)
Sporting philosophy / motto "A diamond is a piece of coal that was able to do its best under great pressure." (Athlete, 06 Oct 2010)
Awards and honours She was named the 2009 Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Sportswoman of the Year. (Athlete, 06 Oct 2010)
Other sports She has competed at the CrossFit Games, and has won world championship titles in karate. (, 12 Apr 2017)
Famous relatives Her father Pieter Pretorius was head coach for the South Africa youth weightlifting team at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her sister Mariska Pretorius competed in weightlifting at the 2008 African Championships in Johannesburg, South Africa, while her mother Yvette Pretorius has worked as a referee in the sport. (SportsDeskOnline, 16 Sep 2019;, 18 Oct 2018;, 26 Nov 2009)
Ambitions To compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (Facebook page, 15 Sep 2019)
Other information BODY IMAGE
She believes it is possible to compete in weightlifting at an elite level and be feminine at the same time. "I got teased at school doing what they called then a 'male only' sport. I was both a tomboy and a girly girl. I would want every single barbie there was and loved dressing up my toys and I would as a youngster wear my mom and granny's high heeled shoes around the house with their handbags. I guess you can safely say I am still that person now. I love getting my hair and nails done and love that I can lift big heavy weights and still keep my femininity. I like to look after myself and making sure I feel both strong and beautiful on the platform." (, 02 Apr 2019)

In 2019 she relocated to Bucharest, Romania, to prepare for the 2020 Olympic Games. She continues to coach weightlifting, working with her clients online and remotely. She began coaching while she was still at school, working from her home gym in Framesby, South Africa. "I started coaching as well from a very young age because I wanted others to experience what I did. I wanted others to share my passion and I wanted to carry over the great things I have learnt in this sport to others. It would be a shame if I kept it all to myself and couldn't share the amazing sport and what it has taught me to other passionate athletes." (, 16 May 2019, 14 Mar 2019)

She has a master's degree in sports psychology from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. She has also studied for a PhD in the same subject at the University of Texas in the United States of America. (, 13 Apr 2017)