Great blog post from Catalyst Athletics: Some Words From The Olympic Champions

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A great blog post by Matt Foreman on Catalyst Athletics.

The London Olympics finished up a few months ago. Recently, I got the new issue of World Weightlifting in my mailbox. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, World Weightlifting is the official magazine of the International Weightlifting Federation. It’s published in Europe and comes out about four times a year. I’ve been subscribing to it since the eighties.

Anyway, this latest issue had the Olympic Games coverage. One of the parts I dug the most was the post-meet interviews they did with the medalists in each weight class. They usually only include a few quotes from each athlete, but I think you can learn a lot from some of the things these champions say. So what I’ve done here is share the words from the top Olympic competitors. I kinda divided them up into little categories, based on what type of answers they were. I also included a little ‘Moral of the Story’ thing that describes what I personally learned from them. So here they are:

The Funny-As-Hell Answers:
– Zulfiya Chinshanlo (Kazakhstan, women’s 53 kg gold medalist)- After being congratulated by the President of Kazakhstan following her victory, “He came and said congratulations, but I won’t tell you how much money he gave me. I am afraid I will be robbed.”
– Eko Irawan (Indonesia, men’s 62 kilo bronze medalist)- “Me and my coach were crying with happiness after my Chinese competitor failed on his final lift.”
Moral of the Story: Unintentionally funny people are awesome.

The Total-Bad-Ass Answer:
– Xueying Li (China, women’s 58 kg gold medalist)- “In every competition, I try my best. I don’t pay attention to my rivals, strong or not.”
Moral of the Story: This isn’t one of those sports where you have much control over what your opponents are doing. You can’t kick or choke them to stop them from making their lifts (even though that would be fun). All you can control is your own performance, so don’t worry about anybody else.

The This-Guy-Was-Just-Born-Different Answer:
– Ilya Ilin (Kazakhstan, men’s 94 kilo gold medalist)- “Four years ago, of course, I was already strong back then, but I wasn’t very much aware of what was happening around me. Since then I have corrected my weaknesses, I have matured, I’m a different person now. I have my own world. Within that it’s me, my work, my character, my perception of the world…all united in one. It’s not only the gold medal that matters but it’s my personal triumph, the fruit of quality preparation, so this victory is different. And I love this! I enjoy when my opponents are strong and I enjoy people being happy together with me. I love life! I love MY life!”
Moral of the Story: A) Weightlifting will change you inside. B) Ilya Ilin was sent here from another galaxy, physically and mentally.

Read them all here:


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