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Officials sweat to lift Goliath

August 25, 2004 21:36 IST

Weightlifting officials had their own strength put to the test on Wednesday after injured Olympic Norwegian super-heavyweight lifter Stian Grimseth had to be hoisted from the stage.

Grimseth, who is 1.87 metres (6 ft 2 in) and weighs in at a knee-buckling 158 kg (348 lb), crumbled to the floor with what appeared to be a strained thigh during his first attempt in the clean and jerk of the B Group.

But after medical staff had Grimseth safely strapped into a stretcher, they were left with a weighty problem -- how to remove the massive Norwegian from the stage.

Calling for help, five members of the medical staff pushed Grimseth like a stalled car to the edge of the platform where they were joined by five more Games staff who strained to get the lifter on to the floor and through a door.

"I was a lifter but not in this category," smiled Dimitrios Iliadis, one those to lend a hand. "That was a big lift even for me. I was really surprised by how heavy he was."

None of Grimseth's fellow competitors in the heavyweight category lent a hand to shift Grimseth, one of the heaviest in the Games.

Athens 2004: The Complete Coverage

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