A write up by Indian Shonak Naik reliving the moment The Beast lifted Papua New Guinea to gold. This LB Samuel photo shows Steven with his proud father Toua saluting the crowd. The Big Village will live up to its name with a Big Party.
This man came out of nowhere and lifted the Gold Medal:
A confidant Canadian weightlifter, came on to the arena. All eyes set on him. The previous weightlifters had failed to snatch weights of 156-158 kgs. India’s Vikas Thakur stood first at that time with a successful lift of 159 kg. The Canadian, Boady Santavy, set an target of 160 kg. And he lifted it very easily, without even small hesitation. In his second attempt he successfully lifted 161 kg. But his third attempt was out of the box, it was extraordinary. The brash boasty Canadian set his eyes on the Commonwealth Games Record. His target was 168 kg. All the other lifters struggled a lot in the category of 150 kgs itself, that 168 kg looked impossible. But in the next half a minute, the Canadian created history. He snatched the 168 kg and set an CWG record.
But the medal was not sealed yet. Weightlifting has two categories. ‘Snatch’ and ‘Clean & Jerk’. The clean and jerk contest was next. India’s Vikas Kumar lifted 192 in his first attempt. For the next two attempts, he set an target of 200 kgs. Which was very very difficult for him. He gave his best, yet he couldn’t succeed. Then came the brash Canadian, Boady Santavy, who had a family background of weightlifting and his family had a tradition of lifting medals in this sport. In his very first attempt he lifted 196 kgs. All knew the Gold Medal is his, and so did the scoreboard hinted. The next weight he lifted was that of 201 kgs. And in his third attempt, the thirsty Canadian aimed at lifting 206 kgs. If he lifted it, that would had been another Games Record of the highest joint score after Snatch and Clean & Jerk. But as soon as he tried to lift those humongous 206 kgs weight, he failed. The weight was too much. But yet he cheered himself, as he knew the Gold was his.
After that failed attempt of 206 kgs, there was only one candidate left. It was Steven Kari, the lifter from Papua New Guinea. In snatch, he had lifted a mere weight of 154 kgs. Which meant he needed 198 kgs to win the Silver and push Vikas Kumar of India to the third place. But the huge Steven Kari set an target of 202 kgs for himself. If lifted that would have meant, he had the highest score in Clean & Jerk. Without any much struggle the giant Steven Kari lifted the weight. He lifted 202 kgs in his first attempt. It was confirmed that Vikas Kumar had to settle on bronze. But it was not silver what Steven Kari had in his mind. With silver already in his pocket after the 202 kg lift, the monster fixed his eyes on the gold. But that was nearly impossible. To get the gold the lifter had to lift a total weight of 216 kgs. Which seemed impossible at that point, given his earlier snatch record.
Steven Kari was thirsty, all he wanted was Gold. An over confident Boady Santavy looked at the television screens, planning how to celebrate when Kari fails to lift 216 kgs and which means the Canadian wins Gold. Remember, the third place Vikas Kumar had managed to lift 192 kgs and the Canadian managed to lift only 201 kgs. And Steven Kari was making an attempt to lift 216 kgs. Everyone in the crowd knew that it was very unlikely for Kari to lift that weight, even though he looked like a giant. Steven Kari came out to the arena. All eyes on him. He came towards the weights, took a breath and within the next few second was standing tall, with 216 kgs over his head and a thunderous applaud from the crowd. Yes, he had done the (what seemed to be) IMPOSSIBLE. He couldn’t believe it, the crowd couldn’t believe it, and more over the Canadian couldn’t believe it that all he was going to get was Silver, which he never thought of. Steven Kari, the man who came out of nowhere picked up the gold. The Canadian, Boady Santavy was so struck with what had happened a few minutes ago, he could helped him self letting lose of his anger. He kicked and punched every non living thing which came in front of him (the living souls didnt dare to go in front of him). Steven Kari won the Gold, and while the medal presentation ceremony, he had tears in his eyes and so did many others watching it.
This man came out of nowhere and lifted the Gold Medal. This is the power of sports. Sports teaches you how to live, sports encourages you to aim high, to push yourself to the limits. This was a small story of Steven Kari’s ‘impossible’ achievement. Keep watching the Commonwealth Games, and you will find thousands of Steven Kari’s and their stories. It is not the medal that we have to celebrate, it is the athlete’s zeal to push himself to the limits that needs to be recognised and celebrated.
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