With a strong track record of sporting accomplishments, world-class weightlifter Matthias Steiner had promised his wife he would win a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Tragically, Steiner’s wife Susann was never to see him compete at Beijing. She sadly passed away in a car accident the summer before the Games.
In an emotional final at the 2008 Olympics, Steiner experienced the greatest success of his career.
After a number of failures within the competition, unable to lift the same weight as his counterparts, Matthias had one final chance at glory. The final weight meant lifting a huge difference of 10kg in order to claim gold.
With incredible determination, Steiner made a clean jerk of 258 kg and a total lift of 461 kg. In achieving an outstanding performance, Steiner turned his tragic loss into the inspiration he needed to fulfil his promise to Susann: to become an Olympic gold medallist in Beijing.
Choking back tears and holding a photograph of Susann, Steiner took his place on the medallists’ podium. Kissing the picture, Steiner accepted his Olympic gold medal, saying, “I managed to lift it because I had this strong, innermost urge. I’m not the superstitious type, I don’t believe in higher powers, but I hope she saw me. I wish.”
Steiner’s passionate motivation to realise his dream of Olympic gold was made real in memory of his wife, Susann. These loving words of encouragement went a long way in his emotional road to the podium.

Email Sign up

Email Sign-up

Sign up for all things Laureus

Get regular updates throughout the year