A “weighty” donation

07 Jul 2011
Beijing 2008

On 24 June 2011, weightlifter Matthias Steiner made a donation to The Olympic Museum. The unitard and boots belonging to the German gold medallist at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing have thus added to The Museum’s collections.

This young athlete, who has also won several medals in the European and world championships, has followed his dream, in spite of the difficulties life has thrown at him. Indeed, when he had been weightlifting for five years, he was diagnosed with diabetes on his 18th birthday. Despite a strict diet, he did not give up on his dream, and was placed third in the European Junior Championships in 2001 and in the Junior World Championships in 2002. He came seventh in both the 2003 World Championships and the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

Despite the tragic death of his young wife in a car accident in 2007, Matthias Steiner returned to competition in a German club in April 2008, triumphing in the Beijing Olympic Games the same year. He has since continued his sports career, with his motto: “You should not dream your life, but live your dreams”.

His coach, who came to hand over the weightlifter’s equipment to The Museum, accompanied by Christian Baumgarter, the Vice-President of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), is none other than Frank Mantek, a bronze medallist at the 1980 Games in Moscow. He is now the Federation’s head coach and a national technical director.

In the presence of the Museum Curator and the Head of Collections, Frank Mantek was also moved to see equipment that had belonged to Ronny Weller, a weightlifter he had coached in the past.


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