SHARECOMMENTMORE

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Linda Jo Belsito, a former body builder and powerlifter, decided to try something new in her 40s: Olympic Weightlifting. It took her five hard years to craft her clean jerk and smoothly deliver the snatch. She says mastering the skills surprised her critics and herself.

Belsito is a 15-time world champion, not only breaking but smashing world records. This year, the 56-year-old won the grand slam, all four major competitions: the National, Pan American, World Championships and the American Masters.

Now, she mentors newcomers to the sport, and athletes of all abilities. This year she was named head coach for Maryland's Special Olympics Powerlifting Team.

Belsito also has a day job. She's a captain in the commission core part of the U.S. Public Health Service. She works with the surgeon general to promote healthy living nationwide, a mission that she fosters in the gym and her enthusiasm is contagious.