Nightly News | August 05, 2012
>>> finally here tonight we have heard a lot about the stars of these games, some of the big ones sign endorsement deals the moment they step off the medals stand but for every michael phelps or missy franklin there are hundreds of young men and women who will never see that fame or fortune but they are here at the olympic games because it is what they do.
>> reporter: silver heels leads sarah to london. on this photo shoot to pitch potential sponsors america's strongest woman hopes to change the image of women weight lifting .
>> a lot of people think it changes who you are. we are still women. we have that side of us.
>> reporter: you are so comfortable with your body image . has it always been that way?
>> no it hasn't. i was bullied as a kid. i was taller and bigger than everybody else. i stood out a lot so i got teased.
>> reporter: success in sports gave her confidence and determination. the 24-year-old is admired lifting a combined total of 567 pounds to earn an olympic berth. she has the glory, not the riches. she is a three-time national champion but weight lifting doesn't bring in big time endorsements.
>> i was putting $2 at a time to get to the gym.
>> reporter: when she can shop it is the thrift store in mesa, arizona where she trains. the only income a stipend from usa weight lifting . you are living on $400 a month?
>> i was for about six months.
>> reporter: she trained six days a week, two sessions a day and can't find a job to help pay her bills or her coach.
>> between fundraisers and me personally giving her money and food and allowance money she has been able to scrounge and get going.
>> it was really stressful because i have to be able to eat. i have to do these things so i can recover and be healthy. you are eating the box stuff and the can stuff from the food bank .
>> reporter: there has never been much money. sarah 's mom remembers living in a car with her husband while she was pregnant. did you think she would be an olympian?
>> it still hasn't sunk in now.
>> reporter: sarah had to grow up fast. instead of bitterness she has developed the attitude of a champion.
>> she has never given up. and it's just what she does.
>> i would rather be an olympian and be poor than sit behind a desk and not do anything. i want to be extraordinary and great and do awesome things.
>> reporter: a woman are the ability to balance a lot on her shoulder.