Luca Thimm may be that dose of Monday Motivation you’ve been looking for. Thimm is a German weightlifter and recently competed at a local meet going 6/6 on his lifts. His final lifts included in the video below are a 20kg and 25kg snatch, while he clean & jerked 25kg, 27kg, and 30kg.
Thimm was born with Trisomy 21, or Down Syndrome as most know the genetic disorder. His lifts were great, but what makes this video truly great is Thimm’s pure enjoyment after each successful lift. Score another point for strength sports in creating internal and external happiness.
The beginning of the video and title states, “First Olympic Weightlifter With Down Syndrome,” and while Thimm may be one of the few athletes to compete in this sport with this genetic disorder, he’s certainly not the first.
In fact, there are a lot of athletes who compete in strength sports with similar disorders. Check out these great clips of Timmy Hedley from Jordan Borges’s Instagram page. Hedley is another competitive Olympic weightlifter who was born with Trisomy 21.
The video below highlights Hedley hitting a successful snatch, then giving a nod to John Cena’s signature “you can’t see me” move.
Below highlights one of Hedley’s clean & jerk attempts in competition. It’s safe to say there’s no lack of charisma in this weightlifter.
When it comes to formal competition designed specifically for these athletes, weightlifting is lacking. The Special Olympics organization has a formal powerlifting competition, but there isn’t one for weightlifting…yet.
There are numerous organizational reasons for this, but could be in part because powerlifting is often more readily recognized by the public. The squat, deadlift, and bench press are usually the lifts everyone tends to know, even non-gym goers. Plus, there have been a few news articles that have went viral highlighting powerlifters with Trisomy 21, like the one below featuring 31 year old powerlifter Jonathan Stoklosa.
This news story follows Stoklosa through his day to day, then features some of his insane lifts, which include a 400+ lb bench press. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend doing so.
At the end of the day, strength athletes are all one in the same. Thimm and the few athletes featured above are prime examples of how strength has the ability to connect others and promote happiness.
Feature image screenshot from Das Gewichtheben YouTube Channel.