Weightlifting has become popular once again. This new popularity comes with a huge number of new “experts” of all kinds– well, mostly Internet experts and also the overnight ones who think they know about the rich history of our sport by repeating over and over almost like a Mantra exotic names (Ilyin, Klokov, Krakav, Krikiv,etc).
While working as a consultant for an International Weightlifting Federation at a Pan American championships, serendipitously, I happened to sit next to one of these “experts”. I overheard all the wealth of knowledge(sic) that was being transmitted by one of these above mentioned experts..
Sitting close to us was the 1980 Olympic champion Daniel Nunez. When I pointed this out to the expert, he said, ” Daniel who???” Hispanic last name?? not Russian or Eastern European??? well he didn’t know who Daniel Nunez was.
Daniel Nunez is by far one of the most impressive Olympic and world champions ever.
I first met him in 1983 at the Pan Am games in Venezuela, and later at the Manuel Suarez in memorian cup. Years later in 1989 I was lucky to train under him and that’s when I saw how a good coach should be.
What makes Daniel Nunez impressive is not only his Gold medal in 1980 in Moscow (the hardest games for weightlifting) or the fact of being the first latin American to win an Olympic gold medal in Weightlifting but the number of world records he’s broken…20 in total!!!!!
Yes, Vassily Alexeev broke more than that and also did Naim Suleymanoglu; not so fast there…let’s check Daniel’s most impressive World records:
Junior World Records
On September 1977 he broke a Snatch world record 112.5 Kg in Germany, less than 60 days later in Mexico he broke a snatch 113kg and a C&J138 world record…not enough? still in 1978 and only 2 days after those 2 world records in Mexico he broke again 2 world records in Cuba snatch 115kg and Total 252.5kg.
1978 again more world records:
March 11, 1978 snatch 115.5kg, May 12 Olympic total 255Kg.
At the worlds in the USA in 1978 he broke 3 world records snatch 117.5Kg, Olympic Total 257.5kg, Olympic total again 260Kg. All these records were set on October, 10 1978. KNow what happened 11 days later?? that’s righta new world record in C&J 143.5.
Senior World Records
As a Seior lifter he also broke several records within the same year..the most impressive ones:
November 12, 1982 Snatch 136.5Kg in Sweeden and 9 days later in Denmark a new world record 137.5 Kg also in Snatch…
Being in the sport most of my life I know what it takes to win a competition, let alone break a world record and doing it again days later…it’s plainly not human.
These days I have the privilege to work with him in the preparation of Panama’s elite’s athles for International meets.