|Born||December 24, 1983|
|Height||1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)|
|Weight||75 kg (165 lb)|
Cao Lei (Chinese: 曹磊; pinyin: Cáo Lěi; born 24 December 1983 in Qinhuangdao, Hebei) is a female Chinese weightlifter. She was born in north China's Hebei Province and was raised in northeastern Heilongjiang Province.
Cao Lei started weightlifting training at the age of 11 and attended Daging City sports school in 1997 when she was selected to the Heilongjiang province weightlifting team coached by Qixi Fu.
Lei made her debut in the international field in 2001 after winning the national championships in Asian Championships 63 kilo category by winning gold with a result of 107,5 kg (a junior world record at the time) in snatch, and 127,5 kg in clean and jerk, totaling 235 kg. The next year she started training with national team under the supervision of Ma Wenhui and she moved 69 kilo weight class in which she won the junior world championships 2003 with 105+140 kg performance.
In 2005 Cao placed fourth in the National games and later the year won gold in the East Asian Games. The next year she moved up one weight class and participated in the women's -75 kg at the 2006 World Weightlifting Championships and won the gold medal, snatching 118 kg and clean and jerking an additional 150 kg for a total of 268 kg. Later the same year, she took gold in the Asian Games, besting her year ranking mark to 120 kg in the snatch and 152 kg in the clean and jerk.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympic games, Cao won China's seventh weightlifting gold medal in the women's -75 kg weightlifting division. She lifted 128 kg (282.2 pounds) in the snatch and 154 kg (339.5 pounds) in the clean and jerk, giving her a total score of 282 kg (621.7 pounds). She set new Olympic records in the snatch and clean and jerk events, as well as setting a new overall score record. Cao attempted to break the total world record of 286 kg in her final jerk attempt by requesting 159 kg (350.5 pounds), but was unsuccessful.
At a news conference held after her win, Cao was overcome with emotion while speaking about her gold medal. She dedicated her win to the people of China as well as to her mother who died two months earlier:
|“||This very gold medal is dedicated to the people of my motherland. It is also dedicated to my dear mother who passed away not a long time ago.||”|
2009 she finished her weightlifting grand slam by taking gold in Chinese National Games with a result of 125 kg in the snatch, 150 kg in the clean and jerk adding to 275 kg total. In the 2009 weightlifting world championships she wasn't able to sustain her supremacy over the 75 kilo weight class as Svetlana Podobedova of Kazakhstan swept three gold medals, Cao following her to take silvers in all three disciplines. Later that year she represented her country in East Asian Games taking gold with routine performance of 252 kg total.
On 12 January 2017 it was announced that because of a doping violation she had been disqualified from the 2008 Olympic Games.
- Result of Asian weightlifting championships, Xinhua.
- World Junior Championships Results 1997-2007, IWF
- 75th Men's and 18th Women's World Championships -75 kg Women Archived December 2, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, iwf.net
- Results of women's 75 kg weightlifting, Xinhua.
- "Cao Lei". International Weightlifting Federation. Archived from the original on 2011-05-27.
- "Cao makes it seven for China". NBC Olympics, Associated Press. 2008-08-15. Retrieved 2008-08-16.
- Cao Lei takes 75kg gold, CCTV English
- 77th Men's and 20th Women's World Championships[dead link], iwf.net
- 2009/93 5th East Asian Games - Day III, IV & V Archived October 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, eleikosport.se
- "IOC sanctions eight athletes for failing anti-doping test at Beijing 2008 and London 2012". IOC. Retrieved 12 January 2017.