There are many men I admire in weightlifting. Donny Shankle, Kendrick Farris, Pyrros Dimas.
But there’s nothing like having somebody with whom you can actually identify. Not only the fact that she is as strong as a grizzly, but the fact that a) she is a she, not a he, b) is a girly-girl, c) is fun and irreverent on international platforms (she has winked at the judges, made a heart sign after a gold medaling lift).
For those of you who don’t know her, may I introduce Lydia Valentin, Spanish olympian and the 2014 European champion in the 75kg class. She wears a lot of pink in training- see this “day in a life video” here:
She is gorgeous and medals in international competition with teased blonde hair and thick black eyeliner. As a mascara addict, this is important to me. I am now the proud owner of a (pink) Lydia tank top from Hookgrip.com . Someday I will lift PRs in this tank because she is that inspiring to me.
In addition to just being cool, gorgeous and stylish, she is also a perfect lifter from a technical standpoint. Here are her snatch and clean and jerk from the 2014 European championships held this month in Tel Aviv, Israel, the c&j in both real time and slomo. In slomo you can see how precisely she uses the bar whip both in the bottom of her clean to come out of the hole and at the top to reset for the jerk.