Tiny little girl lifting
two-and-a-half times her body weight
I don’t get as much DDO time in during the Olympics.
As a general rule, TV holds little appeal for me. But there are exceptions: Bronco games, the Super Bowl, and the Olympics. Winter and Summer, I love them all. I wish we had them every year.
Not for the glitzy camera work and meticulously crafted personal stories, and not the well-covered sports. I like those too, I suppose, well enough. I prefer the more obscure sports. This is where you get the real stories, the kind that no one could ever make up, the kind that stay with you long after the Olympic torch is extinguished.
My favorite Olympic moment was during the super-heavyweight division gold medal round of Greco-Roman wrestling. Some unknown guy trying to win a medal in an unknown sport. As it turned out, he was a cancer survivor too, only two years off of chemotherapy but now fighting for a gold medal against a heavily-favored opponent.
Wrestling is a sport that requires every muscle to be at full use all the time. The rounds are only three minutes long but they are grueling, an endurance test as much as anything else, and these giant strongmen gave their all the whole time; and of course they did, it was the gold medal match. Nothing was held back.
In the end the cancer survivor won. The TV announcers put a microphone in his face. The guy can barely breathe, he is covered with thick beads of sweat, but there is a microphone in his face.
“How does it feel?” he is asked, “to go from cancer to the gold medal?”.
It is the wrestler’s best moment, his one and only chance to speak to the world, but he is so spent that all he can come with is “I’m a happy dude”.
And he was, it was obvious.
I looked up the specifics so that I could write this. The wrestler was Jeff Blotnik. The games were the 1984 Olympics, the ones that the Soviets skipped, and this probably had a lot to do with the Americans – who had never won a Greco-Roman medal of any sort – coming up with two golds. But who cares? It is not about his being American. It’s not about the politics or any of that.
He’s a happy dude.
And it was in that spirit that I watched the 48 kg. female weightlifting late Friday night. I assume there were Americans involved but they must have dropped out early, by the end rounds it was down to weightlifters from Turkey, Japan, China and North Korea.
It’s not about Turkey/Japan/North Korea/China. It’s about 48 kilo girls lifting for glory in the biggest moment of their lives. 48 kg is about 105 pounds. By the end rounds these tiny little girls were lifting 113 kg. Thats 250 pounds. More than twice their weight. More than me, and I am quite sizable. Tiny little girls of steel.
One by one they bend over, grab, lift. Some fail, some succeed, all are straining with everything they own. How can you not cheer for them all? The Turk fails and my heart sinks. The North Korean struggles to get her weight “locked” in place overhead – come on, come on! You can do it! – and she does!
The Japanese athlete (pictured above) makes it look easy. The Chinese girl even more so. And that is how they finish, after six lifts each. The Chinese athelete lifted the most, followed by the Japanese and then the North Korean.
Later we learned that the Japanese lifter’s father won two Gold medals of his own back in the day. Do you imagine when his daughter was born that he thought even for a moment that she would bring Olympic glory back to their house?
This is why I love the Olympics. Tiny little girls lifting two-and-a-half times their body weight.
Don’t expect a lot of DDO out of me for the next two weeks. I’ll be here, of course, but part of me is in London waiting for the next once-in-a-lifetime memory.
🙂 😀 🙂