Matthias Steiner and his tragedy that almost cost his life

German weightlifter Matthias Steiner almost died in front of the whole world. It is not for nothing that he is called an athlete with a difficult fate.

In the photo, the German weightlifter Matthias Steiner.

A couple of moments ago, he made a gross mistake and dropped a 200-kilogram barbell on his head. The life of the Olympic champion was under threat in front of the whole world. If Mattias had not been a professional athlete, he could have died right on the platform.

How did Steiner get away from the tragedy and why is he called an athlete with a difficult fate?

At the age of 18, the career of a young strongman was under threat. Doctors diagnosed Matthias with diabetes and insisted on his retirement from athletics. But Steiner was not going to give up so easily. After consulting with specialists, the guy realized that he could continue to train if he kept his sugar level normal. The future champion did not plan to part with the barbell at all. Moreover, then he already knew the taste of prestigious competitions. Steiner regularly traveled to the junior European and World Championships from his native Austria.

Mattias was the best in his country in the category of more than 105 kilograms. In 2004, Steiner made his debut among adults, and immediately at the Olympics. Then Mattias became the seventh.

A year later, the Austrian federation dismissed the coach of the national team, with whom Steiner established very good relations. The athlete began to have conflicts with functionaries, and soon he moved to Germany. Due to the change of citizenship, he did not participate in international tournaments for three years. Mattias was able to start competing only six months before the Olympics in Beijing.

Right before the Games, a tragedy happened in the life of a weightlifter. His wife, Suzanne, with whom he had been married for a little more than a year, died in a car accident. Steiner experienced the loss, forgetting himself in training — he worked like a damn. But the German was not considered the favorite of the 2008 Games.

However, a man who did not have a single serious title created a sensation: he lifted a barbell of 258 kilograms and became an Olympic champion. The whole world has learned about the drama of the weightlifter. At the award ceremony, Steiner held a photo of his late wife along with the medal. He dedicated the victory to her.

“I wanted her to see everything with me. And I had a feeling that she really sees: how I won, how I stand at the very top of the podium. But it was hard and bitter for me to look at her photo,” the German admitted.

Since then, Mattias has not won any more prestigious tournaments. He was going to defend the title of Olympic champion in London 2012. But a tragedy almost happened to him there. Steiner made a mistake that could have cost him his life.

The athlete took a barbell weighing 196 kilograms, took his shoulders too far back and did not keep his balance. The barbell fell directly on Mattias ‘ head and pinned him to the platform. At first, the German even wanted to get up and continue his performance. But the pain was too unbearable. Everyone present was horrified by what had happened. “In the first moments, I thought that something irreparable had happened,” admitted coach Frank Mantek.

“The doctors told me that an ordinary person in such a situation would not have survived. But an ordinary person can’t lift 196 kilograms. I was in a lot of pain at night, even though I took painkillers, ” Steiner said.

The weightlifter managed to get off even without fractures. He was diagnosed with an injury to the cervical spine and a bruised sternum. But I soon had to stop playing sports. At first, Steiner was going to return, but in March 2013 he finally ended his career.

Mattias is married to TV presenter Inga Posmyk, with whom he has two sons. After retiring from sports, the weightlifter participated a lot in television shows and opened his own business. Steiner lost 45 kilograms, wrote two books about it and developed an online fitness and nutrition program “The Steiner Principle”. The Olympic champion no longer risks his life on the platform.

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