While we’re on the subject of “serious” lifting, I should probably say something about the French lifters I saw yesterday. I just finished watching the womens 69 B session, where Danica Rue did 90 and 115 (more on that later), and I’ve somehow worked my way into the media/press room backstage, where I’ve appropriated an ethernet cable; might as well take advantage before someone figures out I have no business here. It’s amazing what walking with some sense of purpose will get you, especially when accompanied by a purposeful nod at any of the security guards around here. Move quickly, and say hi like you mean it.
Anyway, ze French. They were training not far from where the Chinese 85 Lu Yong (gold in Beijing) was training yesterday afternoon. There was a small contingent of them, with what looked like more coaches hanging around than lifters.
Included among them was a guy–who I learned was an 85–throwing up some decent weight in the clean and jerk. And not looking half bad doing it. Most of the two dozen or so people would were potentially coaches for France were hovering around this guy, Benjamin Hennequin (10th in Beijing), who looked to be pretty serious.
But only when I walked around behind him did I really see how serious he was.
That’s right: the guy has a fucking screaming gorilla tattooed on his back. That’s how serious he is. When he and all his buddies were in some French tattoo parlor, smoking cigarettes and bitching about a 35-hour workweek while getting tattoos of normal animals like lions, tigers, and giraffes,* this dude was like “Nope. I’ll take the screaming ape, please.”
*Two other French lifters I saw also had animal tattoos, but of your typical, jungle-cat-theme from what I can recall. Maybe they just went in with a zoo picture book, and this guy got stuck with “ape”.
Whatever. If the guy wants a goddamn mountain gorilla on his back the guy should have one. It’s certainly better than Chinese lettering (which is not in short supply here; curiously, not on any of the Chinese lifters I’ve seen).