The German was attempting to snatch 196 kg when his knees and arms buckled, causing the massive weight to fall on top of his head. Steiner collapsed under the barbell and instantaneously flopped while its mass bent his neck and head. He was immediately tended to by medical officials and somehow got to his feet, saluted the crowd and walked off under his own power.
He didn't return to the competition. The Associated Press reports Steiner went to the hospital for precautionary X-rays.
Steiner knew it was going wrong early in the lift. He tried to snatch anyway.
Organizers brought out a shade to block the crowd from seeing physicians and trainers attend to Steiner.
Thanks for the modesty, IOC. Once you've seen a 320-pound man drop 1.5 times his body weight on top of his head and flop around like a rag doll, it's good to cover him up. Wouldn't want to invade his privacy. (Meanwhile, the people sitting on the sides of the arena get a birds-eye view.)
But you can't keep a super-heavyweight weightlifter down. Steiner popped to his feet soon after and walked off to the cheers of the crowd.
More photos of Steiner's drop:
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- Matthias Steiner