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.
Every four years, a few months prior to the greatest sporting event known to man, The Olympic Games, it is not widely known exactly how equipment, arena’s, surface’s are tested in some of the sports being competed there. In 2016 the Games are to be held in Rio Di Janeiro, Brazil, and after much scrutiny from media about the readiness of stadiums in recent times, the eyes of the world and relevant organisations and federations alike would be transfixed on the South American tourist hub to get a sneak preview of what awaits as the Road to Rio takes a penultimate turn and heads for the finish line.
There is no better way to test out the Olympic Weightlifting arena than to have a competition. Not all countries send an athlete to this preview comp but it certainly is equally as beneficial for the athlete as it for the organisers, as this gives the athlete a chance to acclimatise to different conditions. This certainly was the case with German 105+ contender Almir Velagic, making the voyage to Rio with coach Oliver Caruso, ever watchful by his side.
After the Columbian team dominated the lower weight class’s, claiming six of the divisions, Team NDO’s Almir Velagic produced a career best Clean and Jerk of 241kg to take the Gold and defeating the hometown favourite Reis from Brasil.
This personal record(PR)caps off a string of career best performances in the last 12 mths for ‘The Lion Of Heidelberg’. A career best Snatch at the EU championships last April and PR’s across the board at the IWF World Championships in Houston in November has raised eye-brows of those in the sport who believe Velagic’s age is against him. Breaking into the 240kg+ Clean and Jerk club and a taste of Gold just months out from what will be his third Olympics, confidence is high in the German camp and also with Team No Days Off as the Marquee athlete and team captain , Almir Velagic’s Road to Rio has been perfect.. and if you know German Weightlifting… its all about Perfection.
Recently, No Days Off Supplements’ Director, Arron Crawford caught up with ‘The Lion’ in his home town of Heidelberg,Germany. This is how it went..
By Brigidene O’Shaughnessy IFBB Figure/Physique Athlete
It was an absolute privilege to attend FIBO as an employee and athlete of NoDaysOff Supplements. The trip was a major success with opportunities to grow through new partnerships and exposure to the very best sports supplements and equipment currently on the market.
So what is FIBO?
*The largest health fitness and lifestyle exhibition and convention in Europe *An industry trade show boasting over 130 000 sqmetres of exhibition space *Over 100 countries involved and approximately 725 exhibitors
* Has literally everything you can conceivably think of that relates to the fitness industry *Is an opportunity to view bodybuilding, crossfit, strongman/woman competitions *The place to get amazing deals on big brand clothing, footwear and equipment *The centre of innovation, great new concepts and scientific breakthroughs in health
The expo was over 4days which was needed to get through the all the exhibition halls and the many thousands in attendance each day.
During the event we met with Patrick Carbo from our parent company Recov Bipeptides, Rob Daeman from Stacker2Europe, Dennis Kohlruss-Giants Live competitor and WSM, Alexej Prochorow-105kg+ competitor for the German Olympic Weightligting team. There was also a chance meeting with Tony Doherty-Arnold ClassicAustralian Promoter which was awesome!
After FIBO it was on to Sittard, just over the German border in the Netherlands to tour the Stacker2Europe factory and meet with Rob and the crew. After trying some of the amazing new products which are coming onto the market later this year we were treated to a night in the nearby picturesque village of Mastricht. The following day involved many connecting trains back to Frankfurt and then straight home to Perth.
Highlights: Seeing the beautiful city of Cologne, trying authentic German food, smelling the pastries every day, training in different gyms and getting training tips from MD Arron Crawford.
Lowlights: Losing my phone on Day 1 of the expo-thankfully it was handed back on the last day, getting locked in a disabled toilet (don’t even ask) and smashing my IPad!!
It was the working trip of a lifetime and I would sincerely like to thank Arron Crawford and the team at NDO Supps for the opportunity to both work for the organisation and represent it as an athlete. Cannot wait to see what the future holds for NDOSupps.
Just moments ago Olympic Gold Medalist and German Hero was with Arron Crawford, CEO of No Days Off Supplements and when asked to tour Australia on behalf on NDO , Matthias answered YES. Here is the video, taken at the Hotel Savoy, Cologne, Germany.
Inge Steiner, NDO’s Arron Crawford and Matthias Steiner
As many off you may be aware, Arron Crawford is currently in Europe on his way to FIBO Cologne 2015. On his way there he has called into Stacker2 Europe HQ in the Netherlands to meet and greet the team there, to take a tour of the facilities, and to consolidate our relationship as No Days Off Supplements is introducing the Stacker2 Europe rage into Australia as their exclusive distributor.
While at HQ, Arron sampled some of their great new flavours and conducted a short interview for us on the other side of the world.