News and Media


The coach behind the world’s strongest man

Matthew Curtain, the LOCOG Weightlifting & IPC Powerlifting Manager posted the following article on the London 2010 blog:

With the paint literally still wet at the newly completed extension of ExCeL, Frank Mantek, Germany’s national weightlifting coach, described the 2012 Olympic Games Weightlifting competition and training venue as ‘perfect’.

Kind words indeed from a man widely considered to be one of the world’s best and most experienced weightlifting trainers.

Since 1990, Frank has managed the German national team and has personally coached two gold, four silver and three bronze medallists at the Olympic Games. Not a bad effort! A modest man, Frank was also a decorated lifter himself, winning a bronze medal at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.

Frank was so keen to share his enthusiasm at the newly completed venue, he insisted on being credited as the Weightlifting competition’s first spectator at ExCeL! 

For those who remember the magic of Beijing 2008 – you’ll recall the unforgettable moment when German superstar Matthias Steiner won gold in the men’s super-heavy category.

While we didn’t know it until the victory ceremony, Matthias had dedicated his performance to his (then) recently deceased wife. A touching tribute.

Naturally all the glory went to the German champion – but at the same time, Steiner credited his victory to his coach!

Perhaps Frank Mantek’s name sounds more familiar now?

The visit of the German weightlifting delegation, comprising of Frank Mantek and Michael Vater (national under-23 coach) was hosted by British Weightlifting, and specifically by Chris Freebury.

In addition to visiting ExCeL, the Germans received a status report from LOCOG about the Olympic Village, the Weightlifting competition venue, training facilities, a Test Event, sports equipment, timing, scoring and results, sports-specific volunteers and other related areas.

All in all, our German friends were genuinely impressed with our progress and are planning to return to London later this year to conduct the first of many pre-training camps in the host city.