Donny Shankle and the Olympics!!!!

Well things are getting awfully exciting here in ‘Merica. Word on the street is that Donny Shankle cleaned 225kg (495lbs) from blocks. Here is the video:

Now Donny competes in the 105kg weight class and the current records in that class are 238kg (523.6lbs) clean and jerk by Russian David Bedzhanyan and a 200kg (440lbs) snatch by Andrei Aramnau in Beijing at the 2008 Olympics. Donny’s best lifts are 173.5kg in the snatch and 208kg in the clean, as his coach Glenn Pendlay posted here.

So why all the fuss? Well this puts Donny in a prime position to qualify for the Olympics (along with Kendrick Farris and Chad Vaughn). This March they will all be lifting at the Arnold Sports Invitational in Ohio. Best of luck to all of our lifters.

Why am I picking my inaugural post to post some pics of strong dudes heaving some heavy weights in a relatively obscure sport? Well there is a strong possibility that we won’t send anyone to the Olympics in London 2012 and dammit that is just unacceptable. I know folks are going to cry all of the following excuses:

-we don’t have enough lifters (compared to other countries) because all of our best “lifters” play sports with more exposure/money like football/basketball/etc

-we don’t have enough financial incentive/support to let these lifters actually just focus on getting stronger and better (Donny is taking donations on his blog just to make it to the meet and find time to train)

-we drug test so frequently that it puts us at a disadvantage to other countries who are a little looser with their testing protocols.

These are all at least somewhat true and I feel for everyone involved, but we are ‘MERICA! We’ve got to put on some sweat pants, cue up the 80’s motivational music, and start punching some carcasses of meat so we can overcome! Cue the Rocky training montage.

I had a discussion today with a member of the USA’s ’84 and ’88 Olympic Weightlifting team and he seemed pretty upset that it was a legit possibility that no one would be representing the good ‘ol USA on the platform. I’m inclined to agree. So let’s all get behind our boys!

I think Donny has a pretty good shot at qualifying if he can snatch 175kg and clean and jerk 225kg, totaling 400kg. This would have put him 9th in the 2008 games, but hey we didn’t even have a lifter in the 20-man field back then, so GO USA BABY! We’ll see how Donny does at the Arnold the first weekend of March.

Thanks for reading!

-thefitcoach

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