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February 7, 2012
Sports star,but his garage turned gym is Hungarian weightlifter János Baranyai's best bet

Janos Baranyai of Hungary screams in pain after twisting his arm during the Men's 77kg weightlifting competition event at the University of Aeronautics and Astronautics Gymnasium at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.(Photo by Getty Images)
by Bence Mohay,AIPS Young Reporter,Hungary

BUDAPEST, February 7, 2012 - 12,162,110… this figure is actually two million more than Hungary’s total population.

But that is just how many clicks the Youtube video of the Weightlifting Accident of Hungarian János Baranyai at the 2008 Beijing Olympics has at the moment.

There must be numerous other videos that have been watched more than a million times possibly over 20 million. But this tragic incident of János Baranyai saw him rise to become one of the most famous Hungarian athletes ever in sporting history.

His first Olympics ended in agony when he dislocated his right elbow in the snatch competition.

Many might have thought he would not return to weightlifting. But he did!

In 2010,he took part in the European Championships, and began dreaming of the next Olympic games – London 2012.

So for a famous sportsman like him preparing for the biggest sporting fiesta-the Olympics, after such an unpleasant incident and a remarkable comeback to the sport-he must have it all as he prepares for the games.

But you are totally wrong!

In January, 2011 when Baranyai started preparing for the European Championships his best bet was his own garage.

“My club didn’t pay the dues, so that I couldn’t use the gym. So I transformed my garage into a gym. It was supposed to be a temporary solution, but it became a long-term one. I did all my trainings before the European Champs in that garage.”

It was surprising that he actually managed a fifth place finish in Kazan.

In clean and jerk he missed the podium by a whisker ranking fourth but still managed to break a ten-year old national record.

It makes you wonder, what would have managed had he all the equipment and facilities at his disposal? So does he….

“I think the podium in one of the major events is not that far for me. If I could prepare without any financial worries, I could probably win a medal,” he noted.

Clearly it could be more difficult for him to access the proper conditions than attain the Olympic gold.

At the moment Baranyai does not have any job, even a sporting job, he is actually unemployed. He gets some support from the federation, but it’s still far from a normal athlete’s life.

“I stay at home, I live with my family in Orosháza. I think without my parents’ support I would not be able to go on.”

But he does so far, and he really wants to qualify for the London Olympics, despite the bad memories of the last Games.

“It was still one of the greatest experience in my life!”

He does not lose his sense of humour and his positive way of thinking, just to show that if he misses the 2012 Games he will not collapse.

“I’ll go for Rio 2016 then!” he cuts in, hoping that instead of being famous by an injury he can get known for his performance.

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