The following was written by Tamara AKA T-Bone on this site.
Question: What do you do when your trip to the 70’s Big Workshop gets canceled because your kid has a 102 fever?
Answer: You spend the weekend glued to the computer watching weightlifting at the Arnold and drinking Makers 46.
The 2011 Arnold Weightlifting Championships were streamed live on the web via ustream. This allowed everyone a chance to watch the action…when the feed was working. The feed on Saturday was especially spotty with much of the Women’s Elite session happening while the feed was down. Thanks to ustream you could also join in on the live chat, which on Saturday evening featured some of the biggest douchebags and trolls on the planet.
I missed the morning Friday sessions because I was still hoping that God would intervene and allow me to drive to Atlanta to hang with Real Men With Facial Hair Who Weigh Over 200 Pounds. Sadly, God was not on my side, reaffirming my belief that there is a special place in hell for me. Fortunately, Friday night featured some of my favorite lifters, including three of the four California Strength guys who were competing at the meet. Rob Blackwell went 119/140, Jared Enderton went 141/168, and Jon North went 152/189. Despite being a 77 and lacking significant body hair (although he apparently weighed in at a whopping 79.70) and being French Canadian, Laurent Goyette-Demers impressed me with a 117/155. Little dudes can be strong too, even if they aren’t as hot. The evening wrapped up with quite a surprise. After his third jerk attempt, Jon North whipped out an engagement ring and proposed on the platform.
On Saturday, I was really looking forward to the Women’s Elite Session. Unfortunately, ustream had other ideas. Apparently, getting a better internet connection at the Arnold venue cost $700, which was not in the budget. So, the shitty connection resulted in frozen screens, off-air time, and frustration on the part of viewers. Still, these women didn’t fail to impress. Amanda Sandoval was the winner of the Women’s Open Division as a 58 lifter with an 87 snatch and 110 jerk. Natalie Burgener went 94/103, Aimee Anaya Everett went 88/111, and Jackie Berube went 80/99 as a 58 lifter at age 40. Superheavys Holley Mangold and Chioma Amaechi threw up some big numbers. Mangold went 98/127, and Amaechi went 100/131 to take second in the Women’s Junior Division.
Saturday afternoon exhibited the hyped Men’s Islands vs. Mainland competition, which featured Dutch Lowy, Caleb Williams, Chad Vaughn, Phil Sabatini, Zach Krych, Kendrick Farris, and Pat Mendes lifting for the U.S. Vaughn was the winner of the Men’s Open Division as a 77 lifter with a 147 snatch and 183 jerk. He makes me want to try harder to like men who weigh less than 200 lbs. Kinda. After snatching 143 and missing his attempts at 148 and 150, Krych pulled out of the jerk portion of the session as a precaution. Farris hit a 155 snatch and then missed all three jerk attempts at 197. He put up quite a fight on the third attempt and collapsed on the platform. All eyes were on Mendes after the “Unofficial Junior World Record” video of his 207 snatch. I think it’s fair to say that Mendes disappointed. He opened with a 175 snatch and then missed 182 and 183. He power jerked his opener at 207 and then missed both attempts at 217. According to Average Broz, he tore a tendon in his shoulder after that 207 snatch and didn’t lift again until four days before the meet. Despite what anyone thinks, the dude is fucking strong, and he’s just a kid, and I’m ready to see what he can do at Nationals.
Saturday evening had some solid lifting as well, but as stated earlier, the level of douchebaggery on the live chat reached an all time high and eventually drove me to log off. Sunday featured the School Age and Junior lifters. The littlest ones were adorable, even if some of them were easily snatching my jerk PR. Arnold himself made an appearance on stage on Sunday morning, although the shitty sound quality prevented me from hearing what he was saying.
Sunday afternoon was what I was waiting for. Okay, not just me…scores of other panting women around the country were also tuned in to watch Spencer Moorman. Apologies to all of the other guys lifting during that session, but I didn’t pay you the slightest bit of attention. And Spence (yes, I will call him Spence) did not disappoint. He hit a 155 snatch and then opened with a 185 jerk. As a Real Man With Facial Hair Who Weighs Over 200 Pounds, he understood the importance of Go Big Or Go Home. Spence knows how to Man The Fuck Up and went for a 192 jerk, although he missed both attempts at that weight. I am sure he earned more than one new fan. As another viewer said, “Guess whose picture is now on my desktop. Who would have thought that I’d ever find a big bear-like man hot as hell?” Indeed. Thank you, Spence. We are all glad that you are legal.
Complete results from the weekend are at www.columbusweightlifting.org. You can download the recorded sessions at www.ustream.tv/channel/arnoldweightlifting2011. Thanks to reneelee, smithb9 and yoshidragonaga for their thoughts on the meet also.