July 21,2014(ISN) – After a red-eye flight, looking tired but excited, members of the Team Canada weightlifting team arrive in the Athletes’ Village, pass through the accreditation zone officially becoming village residents and head on a tour being introduced to Team Canada’s home-away-from-home.
Based upon the current Commonwealth ranking, and the Canadian Weightlifting Federation’s predictions, these Canadian athletes are expected to win six medals in weightlifting; adding to Canada’s 92 medals in weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games. Still to arrive and one of the medal hopefuls is George Kobaladze.
Inspired by his father, his love of weightlifting brings back fond memories of brothers trying to be like their dad. Originally from Tskhinvali Georgia, Kobaladze remembers his father, who worked in research, using weightlifting as recreation.
“My dad was distinguished by an extraordinary physical strength,” says Kobaladze. “If you had the opportunity to meet our neighbours at the time, they would tell you that I have inherited only a small part of the strength of my father. They enjoy teasing me about this to this day.”
Although trying to lift objects that were too heavy, it was trying to emulate his father’s movements that his interest began.
“It all started with this bar that my father had at home; my brother and I tried to emulate his movements that we admired,” says Kobaladze. “We were trying to lift it but only sometimes managed to move it off the ground a little bit.”
One day when Kobaladze was just twelve or thirteen, his father took him to a gym which housed the Georgian national weightlifting team and the passion continued.
George looks forward to the competition starting and some great new memories, as the Commonwealth Games already represent the most memorable moment of his athletic career, a bronze medal in 2010 in Delhi.
“My participation at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India represented my first medal in a competition of this calibre,” said Kobaladze. “At the medal presentation ceremony in Delhi I felt a tremendous joy, as that was the moment that I saw all the effort and the long years of training pay off.”
Hoping to create their own Commonwealth memories, fourteen weightlifters will represent Canada at these Games. The weightlifting competition begins July 24, 2014 with Kobaladze eager to compete on July 31, 2014.
“I have very clear memories of the events my father took me to to as a spectator. These competitions filled me with energy; I became so excited I could not sleep at night.”