About the project

short bio: 


Olympic Weightlifter Sofia Zudova contested the selection trials for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. She did not succeed in winning and securing a spot on the team for 2018 but that's not the end of her story. She now has her sights set on Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games. Only two years in the sport, this athlete has plenty more growing to do but the lofty goals set are within reach given enough time and consistent training. The fundraising program supports the costs of life as an unpaid elite athlete. Sofia has had to reduce employment hours to fit extra training time and necessary physio and other medical appointments. The fundraising program is also towards necessary equipment, nutritional support, and finally the trips around Australia and overseas to qualify for and hopefully compete at the World Championships.



There are a lot of academic and sports achievements under her belt as well. She was born in Russia, spent 6 years in New Zealand and nearly 8 years in Australia. Between changing schools seven times, she still completed VCE with outstanding results of 99.7 to pursue a dream of becoming a lawyer since an early age. She received numerous awards for her academic and sporting achievements at school.


Sofia has displayed enormous athletic potential to the point where she is now a member of the Australian Weightlifting Federation’s High Performance Program. She considers Australia home and feels a great honour represent her nation in competition and accomplish the dream of so many. As an identified elite weightlifter Sofia is on the cusp of being selected to represent Australia in future prestigious international events including World Championships and Oceania/Pacific events.


It requires a high level of sacrifice to undertake the level of training required to reach the athletic standards demanded to be a national team member. She is training 6 days a week while studying full time at the Melbourne Law School with a distinction average and that too requires a lot of discipline, time management, sacrifice and commitment. Successfully balancing both her dreams to represent Australia as an elite sportswoman and to become a lawyer highlights her potential and ability to manage the complexity, intensity and demands of both professions.


Sofia is an intelligent, mature, disciplined and committed individual. She is currently volunteering in the Prison Legal Education and Assistance Project to educate young offenders on the law, their rights and responsibilities to improve their potential outcomes outside the criminal justice system. At 23 years of age she is an outstanding young lady who is devoted to the principles of ethical sportsmanship, social responsibility, and desire to compete for Australia and to also help people work through difficult, threatening and significant events in their lives. She has already become a role model both as an athlete and a member of society for other young Australians and hopes to achieve much more in her capacities.


Sofia deserves the opportunity to realise her potential on the world stage. All of the events are self-funded and it comes at a great financial cost when you are a full-time professional athlete and full-time student. All help towards this goal is greatly appreciated and will go towards personal excellence and development as a role model and future leader.


  • Meg Adams

    Saw you in the local Leader paper & was incredibly impressed - all the best!

  • Katia & Gala

    All the best Sonya, you are doing an amazing job!!

  • Friend

    The race of life is not about winning or loosing, Its about how you run the race, Your running well and are already a winner in our books Sof. XOXO

  • Ivan Motovilov

    Go, Sonya, only forward. Nothing is impossible. We proud of you. Ivan, Anya and Victor.

  • Lidia Zudova

    You were strong enough to get this far, you are strong enough to keep going.

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