Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Olympic Giant

     Howdy yall. Things going well I trust? Today is gobble-gobble eve, so overloading yourself with turkey and tryptophan will have to wait one more day. But, before we gorge why don't we sit down and have another listen to another inspiring athlete story. The story of Matthias Steiner, and his amazing victory at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Quite the game face you have

     Matthias was not born an Olympic weightlifting god, he was born 25 August, 1985 in Venice. In 1998, at the meager age of 16, Matthias competed in one of his first official weightlifting competitions. He would maintain a very brief stay in the 94 kg weight class, moving up to the competitive 105 kg weight class. Eventually he would go for broke, and compete among giants in the +105 kg weight class.

     During this time, 2004, he first met a German-born woman, Susann, who would soon become his wife. Following a dramatic departure from the Austrian Weightlifting Federation, the couple moved to German, where Matthias would apply for German citizenship.

Matthias holding a picture of his late wife

     However, tragedy hit, when in July of 2007 Susann died in the hospital due to injuries from a car accident. There Matthias made a promise to his dying wife that he would fulfill both of their dreams of being able to take home the Olympic Gold. After her death, Matthias threw himself into his training. Just one year later, he qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

     Matthias came into the competition as the dark horse, a very unknown competitor. Having the tough competition of crowd favorites, and eventual 2nd and 3rd place respectively, Russian Evgeny Chigishev and Latvian Viktors Scerbatihs. Coming in 4th place after the snatch, with 203 kg (446 lbs), Matthias would need to pull off a Clean and Jerk of epic proportions.

     It all came down to the final lift. Matthias called for a 10 kg jump for his third and final Clean and Jerk, bringing his total to 258 kg (567 lbs). A hush fell over the crowd, as this attempt would decide who would take home the gold. In a matter of second it was all over. Matthias beasted up a clean of over 550lbs and, without question, locked out the 1/4 ton overhead!

The medal winning jerk

     This story goes to show the incredible spirit of a man willing to win. When speaking of his late wife, he said, "She is always with me, in the hours before the competition, she's there." The super-heavyweight lifter found the internal drive and motivation it took, and all the training and drive to succeed was evident as he was standing on the top of the podium.

3,2,1 GO!


"3 pood Grace"
30 Clean & Jerks with a 1.5 pood kettlebell in each hand
Time - 5:54

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