It’s hard to describe. You think you’ve got your life figured out, I was completely focused on the Olympic Games, my wife was studying, she had her career in front of her. Then, one day it’s just over. I had to make a decision, whether to just stop or to carry on weightlifting. I realized that even if I stopped, what had happened was not going to change. It’s going to stay with me for the rest of my life. On the day of the competition a German triathlete won an unexpected gold. I think he overtook an Australian just before the finish line to become Olympic Champion. And I took that as a sign that today was going to be a good day, so I folded down my laptop and left. I just checked that I had everything with me… tape…shoes… A lot of other guys listen to music, but I intentionally don’t. I leave it all at home, because I want to feel the atmosphere, if I listen to music I’ll be distracted. In the arena there is a certain hum of excitement that comes from the crowd The group before me was still competing, I could hear the weights drop. You go to the weigh in and all the athletes sit around staring at each other. That’s where weightlifting is a bit quirky, it’s not like we are all close friends, but you sit down and there are loads of these big bears who are looking at you And I always thought to myself when I looked at them, they can look as hard or as cool as they want and they do looked very pumped, but I always had the feeling; you’re nervous inside too! The competition was really good. I started with 198kg, 3kg under my personal best. On my second attempt I lifted 203kg, which was a bit better. Then we decided to go for 207kg to get up into the medal ranks. I was so convinced that I could lift it, and all of a sudden I couldn’t. It threw me off my game. I was out of it after that discipline. It became clear after the Russian jerked 210 and the Latvian 207, that there were at least 3 athletes before me and I was at least 4th after the snatch And then it started to go really quick. In my head I was still in the snatch mindset, which can be fatal. In the warm up area I attempted 235kg. I put it on my chest but my hand slipped, so I had to drop the weights My coach then came around and said ‘Matthias you have to go out to lift 246kg’. I said what do you mean? I just tried 235kg and couldn’t do it. I don’t have enough air left for it! He said ‘it doesn’t matter, there’s no time. You have to go out, it’s your turn’. It happened so quickly. It was beat after beat. I approached the 246kg, put it on my chest, I pushed it up and it fell behind me. It was the first try in the clean and jerk and that is always my strong suit. I can always do it on the first attempt, it’s never a problem. I don’t really have to think about it. With the snatch I have to focus and concentrate, with the clean and jerk it’s never an issue. But now I couldn’t do it. It was already, for me, pretty bad. But for my coach it was even worse, he had to decide in 30 seconds what we were going to do. Are we going to repeat or do we put more weight on? Putting more weight on would obviously increase the pressure. He knew I was prepped for those weights, but he didn’t know what was going with me at that moment. Can he not handle the pressure? What’s wrong with Steiner? And you could feel that he was really nervous, but he tried to hide it. He said ‘you realize that if you make this you have a medal?’ Even if you’d got it with your first lift you’d have a medal. I hadn’t even realized. I thought with the first try I wouldn’t have got a medal. But he said ‘of course’. These words, to have a medal with this try, made me think now I have to give everything to the next lift. No matter what happens afterwards. This is one I have to do. I attempted the 248 and although it wasn’t ideal it was still valid. And I realized I had a medal A weight was lifted from my shoulders. I was 3rd for sure. I’d have bronze at the Olympic games no matter what. Brilliant! Then the Russian went for 250 and he was gone. He pulled 210 in the snatch and 250 in the clean and jerk so 460 in the competition. I was at 451, and that’s quite a gap And then it was my turn. The competition was in my hands. I had a chance to become Olympic champion. That was the great thing, I didn’t have to wait for everone else to fail their attempts. I could just go out on stage and finish it myself. I felt I could have lifted anything that day, whether I actually could have is a different matter! I just wanted to win gold. I had only one try. I thought of the words of my coach, Frank Mantek. When I first came to Germany he told me the very best athletes are distinguished by one thing. They compete a lot of times… but they only have a few where they have one try which will decide everything and that can change their life. In life you only have two or three, maybe only one chance, and you have to grab it. That’s the difference between a very good athlete, and a champion. That’s what went through my head, this is your only chance, the only chance is now. That thought was enough. Especially when I pushed the weights up. All my body parts gave up apart from my arms. They stayed up. It was valid and my arms controlled the weights. I was Olympic Champion. Right after I had lifted the golden weights, and I knew it was valid It felt like a thousand chains had burst off me. Only then did I realize the kind of pressure I’d been under. I hadn’t realized… I thought this was just how I feel, that everything was okay. Only after did I realize that I’d been under massive pressure I even saw black in front of my eyes as I got up, although my legs were strong… It quickly went and everything came back again. Every emotion and feeling I can still feel them. I still know how it felt. Especially the feeling when I had the weights above my head. I knew even before the judges that it was good, that I was in control. And that I was the lucky one to win it. Then everything just burst out, everything I’d been suppressing. But in the end there was just a feeling of thankfulness that I was given the chance to become Olympic Champion. That was how I felt at that point, but also that I was standing up there alone. And that was not so nice, because I wanted my wife to be there. I just wanted to show the world that I didn’t want to be standing up there alone.

Matthias Steiner Shares his Emotional Beijing 2008 Weightlifting Gold | Olympic Rewind

100 thoughts on “Matthias Steiner Shares his Emotional Beijing 2008 Weightlifting Gold | Olympic Rewind

  • February 19, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    This Moment when he got Gold is just awesome

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  • February 21, 2019 at 9:34 pm
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    I'm watching this from time to time end every time it inspire me so much.

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  • February 24, 2019 at 9:06 am
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    ❤️❤️❤️

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  • March 2, 2019 at 10:26 am
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    Super, was für ein Kraftpaket. Sympathisch, Intelligent, selbstbewusst . Ein super Typ

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  • March 3, 2019 at 2:15 am
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    Beautiful

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  • March 3, 2019 at 6:31 am
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    I don't like that he said his wife died but his lift was amazing and he won . Cool

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  • March 6, 2019 at 6:09 pm
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    Wahnsinn, nach wie vor für mich der ergreifendste sportliche Moment der olympischen Geschichte! Einfach nur verdient, gewonnen!

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  • March 11, 2019 at 3:05 am
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    Wenn es Helden gibt, dann ist das einer. In jeder Hinsicht.

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  • March 13, 2019 at 9:42 pm
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    6:13 Goosebumbs every time

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  • March 14, 2019 at 12:08 am
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    Dragon lord?

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  • March 14, 2019 at 10:31 am
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    so einen Sportler kann man nur lieben und respektieren!!!!

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  • March 15, 2019 at 6:05 am
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    Diese Geschichte inspiriert mich!

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  • March 15, 2019 at 7:07 am
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    Absolutely beautiful.

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  • March 20, 2019 at 3:02 am
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    A big guy with an even bigger heart. Very inspirational.

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  • March 20, 2019 at 3:29 am
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    Why is clean and press the main lift in the olympics, why not deadlift or squat

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  • March 22, 2019 at 10:15 am
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    Immer noch Gänsehaut…

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  • March 28, 2019 at 5:43 pm
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    Nobody told me I'd cry. This was amazing.

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  • March 31, 2019 at 3:28 pm
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    Inspirierende Geschichte🇩🇪

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  • April 1, 2019 at 11:38 am
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    German bomber

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  • April 7, 2019 at 10:15 am
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    Literally nobody:
    Youtube: I bet someone feels like watching lifting, hehe.

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  • April 8, 2019 at 6:49 pm
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    I got goosebumps, when I saw his celebration after his 258kg lift!

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  • April 9, 2019 at 7:11 pm
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    The men he talked about in the beginning was Jan Frodeno now he is one of the biggest thriatleths.

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  • April 11, 2019 at 8:58 am
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    This is what the Romans had to face in the forests of Germania 2000 years ago.
    A people that refused to bend the knee.

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  • April 14, 2019 at 3:51 pm
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    song bei 6.14?

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  • April 16, 2019 at 5:01 am
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    Awww I’m so glad he won ! What a story !

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  • April 18, 2019 at 10:02 pm
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    Who’s cutting onions…

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  • April 19, 2019 at 11:51 pm
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    “ I didn’t want to be up there alone “ holds up a picture of his wife. That really broke me 💔😭

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  • April 20, 2019 at 11:14 pm
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    wenn es nicht bereits einen film mit dem titel gäbe, sollte man diese geschichte unter dem titel "Steiner: Das Eiserne Kreuz" verfilmen.

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  • April 26, 2019 at 3:44 pm
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    This very man is a true champ. Much respect for him and what he went through.

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  • April 26, 2019 at 6:51 pm
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    And still i am watching

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  • May 4, 2019 at 6:02 pm
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    He looks slimmer now

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  • May 7, 2019 at 2:16 pm
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    That’s was a great victory ..

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  • May 10, 2019 at 1:28 pm
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    So nice video

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  • May 12, 2019 at 8:13 am
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    Hab mit dem schon auf dem bolzer gespielt😂😂

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  • May 12, 2019 at 11:12 am
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    Hammer

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  • May 15, 2019 at 9:25 pm
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    and i can't even get a text back

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  • May 16, 2019 at 12:23 pm
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    A few weeks later he had a new girlfriend…

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  • May 16, 2019 at 5:07 pm
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    Ich habe tiefsten respekt vor diesem man, so eine vorgeschichte und dann Olympia gold…

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  • May 18, 2019 at 5:31 am
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    Я счастлив за него. Он заслужил эту победу! Спорт, часто является подвигом. Это подвиг с его стороны! Он совершил великий подвиг!

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  • May 18, 2019 at 3:32 pm
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    6 Jahre später sieht der jünger aus als davor.

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  • May 19, 2019 at 8:35 pm
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    I dearly hope that his wife, wherever she was at that moment. That she saw what this man lifted.

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  • May 20, 2019 at 10:12 pm
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    Geiler Typ!

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  • May 21, 2019 at 5:14 pm
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    emotion makes sport and sport makes emotions 🙂

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  • May 22, 2019 at 5:03 am
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    Inspiring.

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  • May 28, 2019 at 11:11 am
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    TRUE GENTLEMAN CHAMPION YOU WASN'T ALONE I THINK THAT DAY YOUR WIFE LIFTED UP YOUR EMOTIONS AND THE WEIGHTS AND YOU TOOK THE CHANCE ,,,,INDEED YOU WASN'T ALONE BRAVO

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  • May 29, 2019 at 10:03 am
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    So inspiring

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  • May 31, 2019 at 9:12 am
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    :,(

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  • June 2, 2019 at 7:50 pm
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    One of the most beautiful videos on whole YouTube.

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  • June 4, 2019 at 8:25 pm
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    Shut up……you cried a little too!!!!

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  • June 9, 2019 at 2:53 pm
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    If this is an inspiration for you in Germany, you should check out Aljona Savchenko. She is "THE" role model for fighting spirit.

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  • June 11, 2019 at 6:56 pm
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    Einfach nur ein Vorbild für mich.

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  • June 22, 2019 at 3:38 am
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    I watched this many many times, but it always makes emotional and cry

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  • June 25, 2019 at 10:33 pm
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    the dude on the podium, left side, looked like he had some bad words in his mind…

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  • June 26, 2019 at 8:54 pm
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    Wie heißt die musik

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  • June 27, 2019 at 5:21 am
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    Ehrenmann

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  • June 27, 2019 at 10:40 am
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    Für Deutschland 🇩🇪!!

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  • June 27, 2019 at 3:29 pm
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    Great man

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  • June 28, 2019 at 9:22 pm
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    Tko je dosao tu s Podcast inkubatora?

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  • June 29, 2019 at 3:27 am
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    Why would you have English text between the clips but no English subtitles while the guy was giving his interview?

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  • June 29, 2019 at 3:53 pm
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    Svi mi koji smo ovde zbog rakica 🤣

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  • June 29, 2019 at 6:35 pm
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    Meinen Respekt hat er

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  • July 2, 2019 at 3:33 pm
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    Unglaubliche Geschichte . . .

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  • July 3, 2019 at 8:47 pm
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    He met literally one month later his next wife and married with her two years later…

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  • July 5, 2019 at 6:29 pm
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    WOW!!!!…Got an adrenaline high watching his last lift. Also made me appreciate what I have.

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  • July 5, 2019 at 10:28 pm
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    Einfach verdient 🎉👍🏼

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  • July 5, 2019 at 11:00 pm
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    Ein großer Mann 🙏💫

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  • July 10, 2019 at 3:08 pm
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    He talks so fast , I’m trying to watch the video and read the captions at the same time 😂💀💀

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  • July 21, 2019 at 1:18 am
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    How could one not shed a tear after than final shot…

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  • July 27, 2019 at 12:30 pm
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    wow so sympathisch echt unfassbar nur das beste an ihn und seine familie

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  • July 28, 2019 at 1:08 am
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    He reminds me a lot of Matt Smith from Doctor Who and The Crown.

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  • July 28, 2019 at 10:27 pm
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    you only won cause rezazadeh was injured, relax.

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  • July 29, 2019 at 6:21 am
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    To those 508 dislikes: why?

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  • July 31, 2019 at 5:31 pm
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    Wie heißt die musik

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  • August 3, 2019 at 10:00 pm
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    Historias

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  • August 4, 2019 at 4:06 pm
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    Que hermosa historia

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  • August 10, 2019 at 10:15 pm
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    Tremendo campeón su historia es inspiradora, habría que ser un insensible para no conmoverse😢

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  • August 14, 2019 at 5:14 am
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    Legend.

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  • August 15, 2019 at 3:59 am
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    That’s love

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  • August 15, 2019 at 9:12 pm
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    Rest in peace to his wife

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  • August 16, 2019 at 2:49 am
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    UN CRACK!

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  • August 17, 2019 at 1:47 pm
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    2019: who is with me ?

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  • August 18, 2019 at 5:25 pm
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    11 years have passed since that day

    A hero’s journey for sure

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  • August 19, 2019 at 6:22 am
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    I watch it this vid every so often and it always gets to me

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  • August 20, 2019 at 8:35 pm
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    His wife was present there with him all the time…

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  • August 22, 2019 at 5:42 am
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    a true gentle giant

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  • August 23, 2019 at 2:28 pm
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    I aspire to one day be a weightlifter as great as him. I'm German myself and I've been weightlifting since a year now. I really love him.

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  • August 30, 2019 at 8:54 pm
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    There is an eye in my tears

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  • September 1, 2019 at 12:14 pm
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    most epic moment in olympic history

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  • September 1, 2019 at 4:26 pm
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    Adamı ilk başta şahan gökbahar sananlar…

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  • September 3, 2019 at 4:47 pm
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    Mucha fortaleza, desición, y fidelidad en un solo vídeo. Los que tubo está persona en ese momento.

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  • September 4, 2019 at 1:48 pm
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    Two words say it all…PAUL ANDERSON

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  • September 5, 2019 at 8:09 pm
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    Truly inspiring..
    must be in the theatre….

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  • September 8, 2019 at 2:34 pm
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    At 6:11 I absolutely broke down in tears. Absolutely beautiful story, and what a relief it must off been when he knew he had done it! <3

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  • September 9, 2019 at 8:52 am
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    what’s the song called that played at the end?

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  • September 9, 2019 at 10:03 am
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    Only one thing I have for you…. Respect…Man lot of respect!

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  • September 16, 2019 at 4:10 pm
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    I am motivated several times superb you give us gd lesson.

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