Afterwards he gave an interview in which he was as outspoken as always.
He complaints about his $100 salary and the lack of support from officials / the public and other sportsman in his country (sounds familiar?).
Next we he will be lifting at the Europeans in April.
Update: Thanks to Reader Soiren for taking the time to translate this for us again.
The final day of Cup of Belarus, a weightlifting championship, was looked forward to with some special attention. In the +105kg category there appeared the Olympic champion of Beijing Andrei Aramnau on the platform – the first time after serious injury, which had put a crimp into his London preparation.
Our colleagues from other news portals have ignored that appearance of the disgraced athlete, so our corresponded took a chance to ask Andrei in details about his future plans and current state of weightlifting business. Always ready for shocking speeches, he didn’t search for a second word this time also…
There isn’t time for a big international competitions yet, so Aramnau didn’t care much about cutting bodyweight. That’s why he competed in the superheavy weight class of the Cup of Belarus – alongside with Eugeny Zhernosek. This duel, apparently, has become the decoration of the tournament. Zhernosek, as a result, has set a PR in a clean and jerk, and that way he has compensated for a 6 kilos-gap in a snatch.
Aramnau has finished with a total of 421 kg. This result is drastically lower than his personal best. Especially since he didn’t compete in his “main” weight class.
On the other hand, we’re glad to mention some prudence in Andrei’s tactics. After all, on the pre-Olympic comp he got caught up in his own ambitions. Athlete had injured himself opening with 230 kg in the clean and jerk! Now he adequately guessed his current capabilities, and failed only one attempt of six. Also, it’s worth mentioning that there was a doping control on this comp.
Strictly speaking, after it Andrei took his time to answer to journalists. There isn’t previous anger on the whole world in his words, but dissatisfaction and resentment still take place.
Andrei: I was very excited, because that was my first performance after the hard injury. The main thing is that quality of muscle is recovered. To put it shortly, it healed and became strong. And this competition helped me to liberate psychologically. With the pain gone, thoughts in my head that messed up with working of my hip gone away too. It all comes down to bringing up strength before European championship. When I am preparing without a negative mindset, I work with a pleasure.
Interviewer: How did the team come to agreement? There were times when you put up an ultimatum…
Andrei: I was afraid that after previous coach there would be an echo. It would have been the worst scenario in my case. But now there is another coach, another goals. With my new teacher we hit it off, we work good together. There is an integrity in the team now, and we are making a skeleton of our team now. And there will be no concessions to anyone. Because the primary goal is to work on a country’s result, not on a result of some separate province or a specific coach.
I can say that after Viktor Eugenyevich [Shershukov] has become a coach, he showed himself from his best side, he lived up to our expectations. So I think that in independent Belarus there was not yet such a result that we will come up to in a Rio de Janeiro. We’ll tear them all!
Interviewer: it seems like today the fundamental goal was not to win, but to lift your weight and to feel your body?
Andrei: Yes, exactly, to feel those weights that will allow me to gain prized places on an international podium. I lifted 196/225 – it is more than Olympic champion of London had [implies Oleksiy Torokhtiy’s 185/227 and a total of 412].
And then again: everybody sees, that I lift unreal numbers. Many people in my weight class are unable to ever lift this weight. So after all I would like all the public – both Belorussian and world’s (although world’s is already believes in me) – to believe in me. To believe that I am not an average athlete. After all I am a world-class professional! My consistency proves that I know how to lift the most kilograms, how to drain them from my body.
I want Belorussian people to finally believe in me as a professional. And to not choke and push on me. After all it’s not very comfortable and not very nice to hear from all places: not a professional. Some of gym rats call me names, say nasty things. All the more so I have already proved that I am a professional of the highest level. And I would like Ministry of Sport and Tourism to treat me suitable, and realize, that 100 dollars that I have as a salary is unacceptable! It’s unacceptable to get that much for a person like me. Such people are born every 25-50 years.
And if the Belorussian public gave me the opportunity, I would prove it with my results. And I would always prove it. That’s my favorite job, I enjoy it very much. I can see how much I tolerate. And how it is pleasuring to get that moral reward after competitions. People are saluting me, and this is the best award an athlete can get.
I lift 225 kilograms. For the average person, if you get him under a bar that heavy – he would break down. But I can’t break down. My bones must be stronger than steel, but for 100 dollars which I get it’s impossible. While my opponents get 20k dollars per month and millions of dollars for won contests, I get only 100 dollars after Olympics.
You know, the saddest thing is that we can get 10 years for a bag of potatoes, but for won Olympics – only 100 dollars. It must be eradicated.
Let’s take tsarist Russia. Why did Petr collect the best minds of all countries, ranging from culinary to architecture? He accumulated knowledge from all the world. But we are collecting just fitness enthusiasts or plain slackers! Why not honored masters of sports or international masters of sports?! I think that we need to trust to honored people. Because they are honored for a reason in this country.
Interviewer: Andrei, we see your talent, we have seen your todays performance, but do you realize, that you have made such an image of yourself that public would think critically, or in a some way biased, of you? And you should set a good example accordingly …
Andrei: yes, of course I agree, but it’s hard to prove it every day. Physically not a single living creature can realistically maintain my Olympic form for 25 years! It’s just impossible. It’s a logic, plain simple logic.
You should judge by my competition performance, not by how do I prepare for them. Because I am a professional, I know, hot to do it right. I have my own methodology. How can a person so far from a sport judge about my actions right? He can’t even fathom what I am doing.
Interviewer: we talked about 100 dollars. How do you find your way out of financial trouble?
Andrei: you know, I am a person kind of… I don’t need a lot in my life. But I am insulted by a situation that nobody ever going to help me.
Ilya Ilyin, who has won Olympics second time, was in exactly the same boat as me. I wasn’t given to win Olympics. They just didn’t give me to try! And for Ilin his president took his part. Just said not to touch him. And for me, they just throw a monkey wrench into my work. This, as I see it, is just unacceptable.
Interviewer: the next competition – Europian Championship – will be a landmark for you. To prove something…
Andrei: I don’t know yet what is going to be there. But I will do all of what depends on me to show maximal results. I am going to make our anthem to resound again. As he was sounding in an international competitions and on Olympic Games multiple times.