Jillian Camarena-Williams

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Jillian Camarena-Williams, Mormon athlete
Jillian Camarena-Williams, Mormon athlete

Jillian Camarena-Williams is a champion shot putter, having been named US champion in both indoor and outdoor shot put in 2010. She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Jillian was born in Woodland, California. Her brother was a high school record holder in shot put and convinced her to try it. She began to compete in seventh grade. Jillian graduated from Stanford University in 2004, and since then has made a career of the sport. She was also the assistant shot put coach at Brigham Young University, where she earned her master's degree in exercise sciences.

She suffered a herniated disc just before the tryouts for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but after praying for help with the decision, chose to have back surgery before the trials. Nevertheless, she made the Olympic team. Her husband, Dustin Williams, is her trainer, and he cites the strength of her faith and the way she makes her religion central in her life. Jillian cites the advantage of having her husband for a trainer. He not only cares deeply about it, but with her knee and back problems, he is not only able to treat her with physical therapy, but is also able to give her a priesthood blessing for healing and comfort. She and her husband are the parents of one daughter.

Camarena-Williams competed in the 2012 London Olympics. The same year she placed fourth in the World Indoor Championships held in Istanbul, Turkey.