A snatch heard ’round the world…

It’s been a manic few days, with travels across the Atlantic and in the States, but it would be remiss of me to not mention what is surely one of the greatest lifts of our time, and what is very likely to be considered part of the greatest lifts of all time: the 176-kilo snatch by the intercostal legend Lu Xiaojun.

A 77-kilo man snatching nearly 100 kilos over bodyweight (photo credit: hookgrip.com)

Unlike the Great Wall of China, Lu’s intercostals actually can be seen from space (photo credit: hookgrip.com)

With this lift—and his third world championship—Lu has effectively secured his place among the pantheon of Olympic Weightlifting deities. The only athletes with any potential to beat him are his own countrymen, and as of yet none has done so on the international stage. Nor can anyone demonstrate such mastery over the barbell, such precision and fluidity with weights that few people can properly comprehend. There are many different intelligences and many types of artistry, and Lu Xiaojun has shown himself to be the undisputed genius at his craft.

But enough words. Let us let Lu himself do the talking, using the language he seems to have perfected, if not invented.

(hat tip to Matthew Nourse for the footage)

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3 Responses to A snatch heard ’round the world…

  1. First: I love your blog. It’s very rare that one finds a blog about weightlifting that is inspiring, funny and wellwritten – so kudos.

    I think that Lu Xiaojun is one of the best athletes weightlifting has ever seen – and he seems very charming. He is always smiling, and that really makes him likeable (besides his unbelieveable weightlifting). I heard that he had som problems with his clavicle a few days before – which makes his lifting even more impressive.

    One thing that really upset me though, was when America’s own Kendrick Farris says the way he does about Lu on facebook. I’m not trying to start yet another flame-war, but I think it’s very problematic. What is your take on this?

    Best Regards

    • David Boffa says:

      Nicklas: thank you very much for the kind words. I’m really glad to hear you enjoy the blog. And I agree 100% about Lu: he’s an athlete who looks like he’s actually enjoying himself. I’m reminded a bit of Halil Mutlu, who always had a smile on his face while lifting.

      As for Kendrick: yes, his comment is unfortunate for a number of reasons. For one thing, Kendrick–who spends about as much time posting about God as about weightlifting–isn’t exactly living up to his alleged Christian ideals by making such accusations. But his post is also representative of an American belief that drugs are the only thing separating us from the medal stand. On one hand, Kendrick’s post represents a clear sense of frustration, especially since American lifters have to endure extremely invasive and oppressive out-of-competition testing. But Kendrick’s comment–like so many comments from American lifters–are entirely misguided. Lu, and all medallists, have a lifestyle that most or all American athletes simply cannot fathom (either for cultural, genetic, or financial reasons). Furthermore, the alleged use of performance enhancing drugs by individual athletes is a red herring, diverting attention away from the much larger problem of systemwide corruption in the form of bribery, tampered test samples, the exploitation of athletes, misused funds, etc. etc.

      In short, this is an issue with far more nuance than is suggested by Kendrick’s comment–which to me was driven by both frustration and jealousy. Properly touching on these issues probably requires its own post, which I may try writing if I find the time and resources.

      Again, thank you!

  2. dan says:

    another thing that bothers me while implying to be on the moral high ground as compared to international athletes, he seems to consider other top american lifters beneath him

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