It’s too bad there aren’t style points in Olympic weightlifting, because Kazakhstan’s Nijat Rahimov would have won them all Wednesday.
Rahimov, competing in the 77-kilogram weight class, shocked his Rio Olympics audience by totaling 379 kg in the clean and jerk, which won him a gold medal and broke a world record in the process.
That’s quite the accomplishment, but it’s not why we’re here. We’re here for what Rahimov did after his record-setting performance.
The 22-year-old broke out in a gleefully spontaneous dance that would make any NFL wide receiver proud. His coach also joined in on the awesome celebration, lifting Rahimov into the air before doing his own brief interpretive dance.
Rahimov’s utter joy came with a bit of controversy, however. The Azerbaijan native was banned from competing for two years in 2013 after failing a drug test, and recently moved to Kazakhstan to compete on its weightlifting team.
Egypt’s Mohamed Mahmoud, who won bronze, took a thinly veiled shot at Rahimov after Wednesday’s competition.
“Maybe after some doping controls, some things will change,” Mahmoud said, via The Gaurdian.
Doping has been a big issue in weightlifting recently, but clearly none of that mattered to Rahimov, whose post-lift jig ranks alongside Michael Phelps’ finger wag as one of the best celebrations at the Games so far.
Thumbnail photo via Andrew P. Scott/USA TODAY Sports Images