IOC Member tells remarkable story from YOG weightlifting
Last evening I attended the weightlifting event. It was the 85kg weight class for young men. There was a bit of a drama at the beginning because the athlete from Pakistan, Irfan BUTT was not yet properly entered. There had been some difficulty in finding his coach. As it turned out, the young man did not have a coach with him, or anyone to assist him at the event.
Finally, his passport arrived at the venue with one minute to spare so he could be confirmed eligible for competition at the event.
As they were waiting for the passport, the International Weightlifting Federation saw that he needed to have a coach with him so that he would be properly managed and led through the competition. Eventually, Thailand offered their Olympic gold medalist to coach him. Miss Pawina Thongsuk, at the same time Athlete Role Model for weightlifting, was happy to undertake the task.
Butt finished in the last, 9th place, however, he successfully performed each and every one of his six attempts in competition. Only a few of the spectators at the venue learned of this remarkable story. I feel both elated and fortunate to have been one of the few who knew what had happened as the tournament began.
It was a beautiful moment to experience as a woman from Thailand, herself an Olympic Champion, was introduced to a young athlete who then coached him through his successful competition. She was able to keep him calm and focused on his performance at this high pressured event.