Om Yun Chol, a North Korean weight lifter, has joined an exclusive club of lifters who have hoisted three times their own weight, doing it Sunday on the biggest stage of all at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Om, who competes in the 56 kilogram (123 pound) weight class, lifted 168 kilograms (370.4 pounds) in the clean and jerk to set an Olympic record.
According to the Washington Post, The impressive feat puts Om in a small class of athletes to lift three times their body weights, including Turkey’s Halil Mutlu and Naim Suleymanoglu. After the lift, Om gave all the credit to the late former leader of North Korea, so-called “Great Leader” Kim Jong Il.
“How can any man possibly lift 168kg? I believe the great Kim Jong Il looked over me,” Om said. “I believe Kim Jong-Il gave me the record and all my achievements. It is all because of him.”
It was not clear exactly how the deceased ruler was involved, but North Korean athletes frequently praise him when they succeed, and blame only themselves when they fail.
Om was ranked only 11th in the world in 2011, according to the Christian Science Monitor, and his personal best in the clean and jerk was 156 kilograms (344 pounds) before setting the record. Just as impressive, he made his lift from the “B” group, of lifters, where as the medalists tend to come from group “A.”
Om put up a total of 293 kilograms across two styles of lifts. Om’s medal status remains uncertain, as many of the world’s best lifters are competing now in group “A.”