Pyrros Dimas is one of weightlifting
's greatest heroes. He's a 3-time Olympian gold medalist, a 4-time Olympian medalist, one of the strongest 85ers to ever compete, and his story's full of come backs - every weightlifter knows who Dimas is.
It's the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Dimas comes in as the favorite for his weight class, having taken gold in 1992 in Barcelona and 1996 in Atlanta. His first attempt in the snatch is 175 kilos, 385 pounds. Imagine this; a guy in the 187 pound class hurling twice his bodyweight overhead, dropping into a squat as he does so, then standing with it. This is not something that happens everyday. It is probably not something that happens every month.
He misses his first attempt. Misses it for his second. He comes alive for the third, dominates the pull and stands and he holds it up there for a second, looks around at everybody in the auditorium - this is nothing to me.
But he's trailing behind by 5 kilos. Georgi Asanidze leads with 180, Marc Huster behind him with 177.5. If he wants to take number one position he's got to come ahead 5 kilos in the clean-and-jerk; if he ties them, he wins on bodyweight, he's the lightest 85er in the top 3 of this competition.
Dimas takes his first attempt in the clean-and-jerk and succeeds. Azanidze takes 210k, 462lbs, on his second attempt, and Huster finishes with the same on his third attempt. Dimas waits for this moment, and calls for the weight he needs to take the lead. 215k, 473lbs, another 11lbs but when you are talking about producing vertical distance that you measure in mere inches, this is a significant sum.
He sticks it. Jams that motherfucker overhead, and you see him almost sink past the point of no return in the squat jerk, but he recovers and stands, and the expression on his face, like he's angry or something, he drops the weight after he's given the three white lights, and this, this is what I'll remember for the rest of my life: he doesn't go crazy with raw fury, he doesn't rejoice, because he already knew he had it the second he stood with 175. He looks at the people in the auditorium applauding, cheering, he looks at them and he quietly points a finger to his chest, me, I did this today, this man, this body, because for a moment they thought he couldn't pull it out, but there was never a doubt in his mind that he was the greatest.