After Team NDO saw the 2016 FIBO Fair in Germany, I dropped Brigidene off at Frankfurt Airport and met my friend, Jason Martin who arrived to be the NDO Camera man/Assistant for the week. We decided hiring a car was the better option to get ourselves north to Forde, Norway to see NDO athlete Jürgen Spieß compete in the 2016 European Championships.
The company had been involved in Jürgen’s progress for just over a year and he is very much a company favorite or certainly becoming one. I had spent time with him previous and we have always had fun and got along very well. This is partly why I wanted to be there to support him in his efforts as this was not just a usual EU champs for him, as he needed to lift a 385kg total to qualify for Rio 2016, his third Olympics. We were lucky enough to catch him the day before, he was nervous, but feeling good. He seemed ready.
On the day, he Snatched well and going in to the Clean & Jerk he needed 213kg more to make the 385kg requirement to qualify for the Rio Olympics. Jurgen opened with 206kg and smashed it to bits. No problem. He then went straight to 213kg for his 2nd lift. He struggled out of the clean and looked like he spent a lot of energy during the first part of the movement. He then jerked and just didn’t lock out his arms and dropped it. This now meant he had about 1 minute to re-compose and follow himself and come out to lift a weight that just got the better of him. In true dramatic fashion, he returned to the platform and lifted 213kg as though the previous attempt had never happened. Tears and jubilation ensued as the realization hit that he would be attending his 3rd Olympic Games. We were ecstatic and I was so proud as a sponsor. I really understand now as a sponsor/supporter the real fulfilment and great feeling you experience when an athlete you are involved with has success and you are a part of the support team in them producing that result or performance. As an athlete I always questioned why coaches and support staff even did it, especially if they were an ex-athlete. But now I know.
Days later I caught up with the man of the moment for a quick interview in his home town of Heidelberg. Here is how it went aswell as the EU Champs performance.