All Things Gym



Dmitry Klokov Interview After London 2012

Just stumbled across a Dmitry Klokov interview that was published on 27. August 2012.

Not much information about the injury itself, but it gives some insights into how he experienced the whole situation and what goes on in an athletes head after such an event.

Below is the shaky Google translated version. You can get the basic gist,  but as is always the case with automatic translations, things will get lost. I ‘cleaned’ up some parts that were completely unintelligible, and in turn have probably introduced some errors myself.

Please help cleaning it up in the comments or in this Google Doc.

Update: Thanks to everybody who helped fixing the translation so far.

Interviewer: Dmitry, everyone expected Olympic gold in the 105kg category from you but were shocked to hear that both you and Akkaev were injured just before the competition. Tell us, when did your injury occur? Which knee is it? How did this happen? You still haven’t revealed anything to anyone.

Klokov: That is a difficult question, and I am not sure that it is worth raising. I’ll be honest, It is hard for me to remember the Olympics. I’ve already been through it all and now I calmed down a bit. What for would one raise this subject? People close to me already know and so does the board of the weightlifting federation, but what should one tell to the ordinary people? Should one tell how the injuries occur? For what? All already know what sport is. We have been preparing for the Olympics for a very long time and when that happens just before the competition one loses the meaning of life… I just don’t want to talk about it. Well, what should I say?

Interviewer: The head coach of the Russian men’s team – David Rigert – said that you didn’t have any problems with your health during the training season for Olympics. Not a single injury occurred in you –  yet, all of a sudden a piece of news spreads that your knee is injured. What happened?

Klokov: I know and say. When ready, and you know that you are 100 percent at the Olympics become the first or second … And me and some Khadzhimurat thought in my head: how could this happen? Because we would have won with the first attempt.

Interviewer: You did fly to London … July 26 was the last day for applications, after which you can not be replaced. That is, did your injury happen after that?

Klokov: Yes. I already had tickets, and accreditation. And what was there to go? Khadzhimurat flew [to London] thinking that maybe a miracle will occur. Or maybe he had other reasons…I have some ideas on that topic — why he went [to London] — but there are things that one does not talk about. So he went because of his reasons, I did not go, because there was no point. Why? Opportunity to speak, I was not there. And just to get rolled up, watch this situation, when you know that you will not speak … To be in this situation … The same Khadzhimurat says: I’m here, my heart bleeds because I know I can not do anything. Why would I want to do this? Being home with friends, family and relatives was  easier.

I did not watch the competition. When will the results found on YouTube videos looked. With Khadzhimurat we call each other, neighing over the results (laughs). The result was even less than we expected (Ukrainian Alexei Torohty won gold with a score of 412 kg. At the 2011 World Cup in Paris Akka won the double-event, dialed 430 kg, Klokov won the silver medal with 428 kg). We thought the Olympic champion is a person, who for seven pounds more lift. And the result is that … We, at least, to begin in the first approach, like a lot more than the results of the people who won. And you know, when you could be an Olympic champion, having made two approaches in the Olympics, it’s hard to see from the outside and realize that you can not … And when the athletes started to reward – cars, apartments, at all … You see it on TV, read on the Internet, and the state is … not very nice.

Interviewer: It’s a shame?

Klokov: Well, of course! You lose a goal. And Khadzhimurat, and I had only one coin, we have won, we have sport in itself is not interesting. We were not interested in doing. We are not interested for the World Championships. We are not interested to prepare for the European Championships. We just are not interested, because it was many, many times. Had one goal – Olympic gold. And when we were ready … You see, everyone was ready only for the gold medal. And as a result, both morally and physically. When the target is lost, the next four years … for example, I just do not know how to live. What we need to encourage yourself to exercise now? ..

Interviewer: After the World Cup, where you took the second place, Akkaev won gold, both of you were released from the competition, so you could focus  on preparing for the Olympics, but in the end, Russia lost its two senior leaders on the eve of the start of the main competition. How can this be explained?

– Well, how? .. Of course, it’s bad luck. An athlete always knows that every day, every workout may be the last. I think that is bad luck for everybody. Look at the situation. Why is the Olympic champion was a man who looked at all children’s weight, with the champion of Europe can not be.

Interviewer: Yes, your whole category dramatically “broke down.”


That’s right, not just someone broke down, and the whole category Porush. A month before the competition the Olympic champion from Beijing, who beat me in 2008 (Belarus lifter) Andrei Aramnau, gets injured….Then about 25 days before the Olympics Khadzhimurat is injured.  For that entire 25-day period he was getting treatment and trying to recover…but it was understood that chances were slim [for Khadzhimurat]. So, two real leader disappeared. I stayed and three-time World Champion (Marcin) Dolega. Perfectly well aware of this situation, I have at least two. Normally prepare. And then there is my situation. At the Olympics Dolega could not cope with his opening weight. Imagine, it turns out that four people who were to be the first, second, third and fourth – disappear. All other when we would fight for fifth place, and they played three. And right would one leader broke down, and everything. This is some bad luck we had in the category – 105. If she jinxed. And this is a most interesting category. Russian TV channels were fighting over who will be broadcasting the category from London. And here again stuff broke. It’s actually kind of a global situation.

Interviewer: The president of the Weightlifting Federation Russia Sergey Syrtsov said Klokov and Oksana Slivenko let the team down … (Slivenko was the leader in the category up to 69 kg, but was injured in the last training session before flying to London , and was replaced by  Natalia Zabolotny).

Klokov: Well, of course, because we did not get at least one medal.

Interviewer: In London Akkaev apologized for him and yourself for not being able to win gold for Russia …

Klokov: If we were together … I did not think I would be a first. Just trained in first place, but was not sure that I would win. And I can now say that I’m not winning gold. When all this happened, assessing the situation, I realize that I could fight for the gold. But this is after the event.

Interviewer: Who is to blame, the coaching staff , the federation ?

– And what’s the federation? Federation created the conditions in which they were all ready to fight for the gold. This is the work of trainers. And injuries always happen. Why do they happen? For example, in the off-season I weigh 112 kg. Can you imagine the effort it takes to lose 7 kg of weight when you do not have a single gram of fat? Water comes out of the body.When the water is drained, the muscles weaken. It is like the foundation of clean cement. And Slivenko same dry. She and I are the same.

Interviewer: Maybe it was the stress of you and Akkaev as the main rivals for each other, cooking together in one room, say? Even just psychologically difficult to see his chief rival every day …

Klokov: No, I think it has nothing to do with it. And Khadzhimurat injury is not to do with it. No injuries occurred because of our competition. Simply, we had a  goal and trained relentlessly. Just because that was the purpose for which you would like to do more-more-more, gave away the last. These competitions were to be the last for me, and for him. Therefore gave everything for the last time.

Interviewer: You say that you called up Khadzhimurat, but you’re in not very friendly terms, to say the least …

Well, they do not make friends? … Misfortune always unites more than when all is well. When all is well, people disagree on the contrary.

Interviewer: Have you now come to terms with this situation? Did you let it go completely? ..

Klokov: [Once it was clear that London wasn’t going to happen, rather than staying at home in Moscow] “I went straight to Taganrog and focused on something new: I began to build a house….To be honest, when we arrived in Taganrog, I didn’t even want to go out in public because I knew that everyone would want to ask me questions. In fact, that’s what happened.

Interviewer: What are the problems now? There is something to strive for?

Klokov: Why did I say, how to live the last four years … For me, the barbell provides a job that feeds me and my family. I should do it every day, simply must, because it is my job, I have no other. And preparation for the Olympics was the goal. Dream and work – two different things. When you train and how you go to work … It’s like a secretary, coming into the office, sitting and playing cards, and is a director who wants to make their firm famous for his name to become a worldwide brand. This is a different purpose. So it is here. Championships will be Russia, Europe and the world, will train, act, because the money paid for it. But such eagerness to Rio de Janeiro will not be accurate.

Interviewer: Do you plan to keep with it until the 2016 Olympics?

Klokov: Why shouldn’t I?  I am still a leader, I have no injuries. I’m just going to train a little differently, comparing it training. Prepare for the Championship of Russia and for the Olympics with a different mindset. Maybe you need less training …

Interviewer: Have there still been some bugs in preparation for this Olympics?

– I had an injury in 2006, where I hurt my shoulder. All my troubles started since then. I nearly gave up then. But I handled it. What can I do? Here, it is worth the weight, I’m absolutely healthy person, and I generally do not bother. You come up to the bar a healthy person, you start to pick up … and it gets out of it is a semi-invalid. Well, as can be anticipated? How do I rate? 90 percent of injuries that occur are small ones. The people do not realize it, believing that if a person gets injured, it’s because of great weight. They say that we were eager to Khadzhimurat. There was that. As I recall, Khadzhimurat injured himself during a 240 kg pull (?) when his best deadlift is 320kg. He’s not useful in the deadlift at 350 and injured. I learned about his injury is in Chekhov, at the last assembly, when he told me himself.

Interviewer: Rigert had already flown to London?

Klokov: [About the chronology of events] “Yes, Rigert was already gone.  He flew out [to London] on July 26.  My tickets were for the 31st.  And then this happened … They are all to do with anything. Federation has created the ideal conditions fulfilled by 100 percent. How much I’m in the big sports, we are about these conditions that we have created a Ministry of Sports and the federation now, a lifetime dream. And now they finally did everything we asked. We had everything. It’s just … it’s like the expression “best is the enemy of the good.” Probably, too well done (laughs).

Interviewer: In London at the press conference journalists demanded that Akkaev shows that he had an operation. There are a lot of questions asked about you. They say that it happened suddenly. And, of course, in Russia there are rumors about doping …

Klokov: [When asked about doping]  “Well, what’s to say?…It looks suspicious.  Big-time sport and doping go side by side.”  Translator’s note:  maybe “go hand in hand” is a better, but less literal, translation.

Interviewer: And how do you feel about this situation? These rumors about doping in relation to you?

Klokov: I do not care. I care what my family and friends think about me. What others think I absolutely do not care. For example, we are now in Taganrog in the whole city, in every hole make roads, change borders, remove asphalt and put the new one. Like a normal person perceives it? Well done, right? City to raise funds. And as they say spiteful critics? Someone, the mayor or someone else have a factory for the production of asphalt, bordyurchikov and are now cashing. That is, people have different views on the same situation. So it is here. People who love me, and they know they are going through with me. And to those who do not … what do I care what they think? There are always people who love you and hate. And those who hate me, much more. Successful people, which I can not classify myself, at least, in sports, not everyone became who I am, people do not like. I’m used to it. I do not care.

Interviewer: How did people in Taganrog react? What did they say?

Klokov: The people I r meet on the streets understand that this was a tragedy, and once again ask why? Honestly, when we arrived in Taganrog, on the street I did not want to show up, because I knew everyone would ask questions. It happened. Those people who know me, did not even ask, because they understand – he wants, he will tell, no – no need to fumble. And the common people, you know … I’m just wondering, but that they absolutely do not care what happened to me, and how I feel.

Interviewer: This is the most difficult period in your life?

– Now? It was hard the first three days. All three days to tears … Actually, you know, tears were coming down for three days, because the situation is so … And then … Already sense grieve? … Hard, of course. At first it was hard, but when it happened, and then when I heard the result of the winner, and then when I began the most pleasant … began awarding champions, winners of the Olympic Games. Three stages were such difficult (laughs).

Interviewer: Syrtsov said that maybe you will compete at the Russia Cup in December.

Klokov: No.  I am not going to compete now.  I want to rest up completely. You see, it was a long preparation. Maybe all these problems happened because for a long time for the World Championships at first – eight months after the Olympics – eight months, and it was a stretch. A mad race … how to charge 16 months ago, but now it’s over. I want to rest until January, and then begin training for the Russian Championships that will take place in the summer.

Interviewer: We are ready to prove it all over again? ..

Klokov: Well, yes. At fault will prove everything again (laughs). I’m at fault. Cup of Russia? As I said, it’s just a job. Naturally, such a zeal as the Olympics, there will be, but due to the fact that you’re a leader … The hardest thing, when he came up to a certain weight, a kilogram add, but from the ground back to the fact that you’ve raised, it is easy . I am 29 years old, and we have people in 40 European championships won. Another Olympic cycle I do stretch. Just three years will be uninteresting. The most interesting thing will begin again with the World Cup, which will be before the Olympics, as it was in Paris (November 2011). For example, we performed well with Khadzhimurat in this championship and prepared directly for the Olympics. The first such launch, which will be a response to Rio de Janeiro, a dream come true, the target will be only in 2015.And 2015 will just work. The safety margin can work. No injuries, I still have my youth.  Everything’s in order.

Interviewer: Though you say 29 years is no age, but each athlete’s injury is different, but with age it harder all …

Klokov: The case of injury, because of which knotted. Now I have not the same injury that caused knotted. This injury, which does not come out right now. And here at Khadzhimurat, I tell you, this injury because of which knotted. Because of a hernia, yes. Therefore cope Akka or not, I do not know.Such an injury can put an end to his career.

Interviewer:  94 kg Olympic champion, Ilya Ilyin of Kazakhstan wants to move up to the 105. What do you think?

Klokov: I do not encourage. And Ilyin more rest will be for two years. Always after winning a competition people behave this way.Let us give an example Dmitry Berestov. He won the Olympic Games in Athens, he was subjected to 105 kg category, and he wanted to be the strongest going into the heavyweight category. But he could not. Just when you win, you feel like you all to no what, you can do anything. After all the euphoria of victory and have a lot to say, but then began to drive Berestov again in 105, and Ilyin, I’m sure, after two years of rest, will return to his – to 94 (laughs). All this was a hundred times already.

Interviewer: After winning the 2011 World Cup Ilin promised to win the Olympics and did it. And then, Ilyin lifted now … something incredible.

Klokov: I agree. But I was absolutely scared (?).

Interviewer: You said you prepared about 16 months for the Olympics without a break. Will you prepare in the same way for the 2016 Olympics?

Klokov: This I have not yet thought of. The situation is different. The conditions were perfect and all training was well received, because really for 16 months I have not had an injury. Usually I have one injury after another. This is nothing alarming. I actually was thinking, something was not right. For the World Championships I prepared for 8 months and strangely never got injured. Olympics, eight months without injury – something is not right (smiling). Well, here you are – in happiness and unhappiness lurking.

– It turns out that the leaders always have something to prove and act. It’s a perpetual race, you prove, prove to-prove. Start, then we’re all after the Olympics, and now. At the first international competition to act – and all at once you find yourself in the sights, you are positioned as a potential participant may, and you try to match this level all four years – for each competition and show great results in training, too. You have defined the standard in the Olympics. You get used to it, but it’s hard.

Dmitry Klokov Interview After London 2012 is a post by Gregor Winter from All Things Gym.