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Monday, March 18, 2013
Kazakhstan in the house! So many Amazing people I am going to implode, from the shear awesomeness of this
A picture is a Thousand words. You and I know it. I am sitting in a room surrounded by the great, modern day luminaries of weightlifting. I am surrounded by some of the pound for pound strongest men on earth.
Seriously, Am I DREAMING? I watched the 2012 Olympics in awe of the Kazakstan lifters- Svetlana Podobedova, Ilya Ilyin, Maiya Maneza, and Zufilya Chinshanlo. I admired Diego Salazar being the only lifter from the America's winning a medal in 2008, and in awe of Carlos Andica out clean and jerking every 85kg man at the 2011 Pan Am Games. And, look who I am surrounded by:
On the far left is Viktor Ni: he is the personal coach of Maiya Maneza, Zufilya Chinshanlo, and Svetlana Podobedova all Gold Medal winners at the London Olympics.
Next to him is Dr Herrera- I wrote about him a lot. While he was coach of Cuba, they won HUNDREDS of medals, he got Colombia their first World Championship medal, and his protege became Olympic Champion.
Then there's Ivan, myself.
Next to me is Mendikhan Tapsir, Secretary General of the Kazakhstan weightlifting federation, then LG. Next to LG is Diego Salazar- Olympic Silver medalist, 6% bodyfat, 100% awesome personality.
Next, Pan Am record holder in 85kg class clean and jerk, Carlos Andica, and friend
Mr "Kazakhstan Number 1", himself, in the flesh - Aleksey Ni. You probably remember him for his incredible enthusiasm every time a Kazakhstan lifter wins gold or breaks a world record. He's always there- when Ilyin went double gold at the Olympics, or Chinshanlo or Maneza, or Podobedova.
Just imagine, the shear brain and muscle power sitting around a table in Maine.
It all happened when Risto Sports announced it would hold an international conference on Olympic weightlifting. We received recognition from the Pan American Weightlifting Federation and IWF from our efforts. The venerable Dr Herrera would be presenting new research on how training design influences natural hormonal responses and technique.
No surprise the biggest interests came from International weightlifting federations and CrossFit boxes.
So, why do you care? Well, one can only learn so much from watching these guys on youtube.
In person, they are all serious but awesome people (no tackling athletes in jubilation occurred). Serious, in that they all came to Risto Sports with a purpose- to learn something new - and to teach.
For the record, people from Kazakhstan are NOTHING like Borat.
Lifting in Kazakhstan, Temirtau, Ilyin's former gym
In Temirtau, Kazakhstan, I'm lifting in my Risto Sports Tank top, weightlifting shoes, and compression pants. Still, unable to do any overhead work from a ligament tear, I'm just rehabbing with pulls to retrain my muscles. Training next to me is the Youth and Junior team of Temirtau. Ilya Ilyin used to train in this facility as a junior. As well as a recent Junior World Champion, Maksim
Olympic Trials News Media on Risto Sports' Gwen and Ivan
This was the 2nd highest snatch in all of the USA for 2014 in official competition for women's 69kg weight class. The only athlete to snatch higher was Jenny Arthur with 98kg. Gwendolyn Sisto lifts for Risto Sports, the premier weightlifting company in the world. The Olympia Cup is held in conjunction with the Mr Olympia in Las Vegas, NV Join us in 2015! Gwen is lifting in all Risto Sports apparel and weightlifting shoes.
Oscar Figueroa,Olympic Silver Medalist, World medalist, approves of Risto's
Pictured at Salitre with Oscar Figueroa in center. We will be proudly be sponsoring Oscar with a pair of Risto shoes.
MISSION: To promote the sport of Olympic weightlifting via creating Original Content on Olympic Wei
Carlos Andica training with Coach Ivan at Risto Sports
Built for the Platform - Risto Sports weightlifting shoes
Russian boots, classic weightlifting shoes with modern shoe technology. Exquisite full leather upper, wood heel, rawhide forefoot, natural rubber outsole. One of a kind.
Risto Sports: Official Sponsor of USA Weightlifting
USAW national team member in Risto Singlet
Ivan in the Warm-up room with the Andica Brothers
Arnold, Carlos & Joni Andica in Front of Risto Sports banner
Risto sport's Leidy Solis- PAN AM Champion 2009
Leidy in winning form, wearing her Risto weightlifting shoes. Congratulations Leidy!
Exceeding expectations - www.ristosports.com
Classic weightliftng shoe design with modern accents
In the Risto shoes
Coach Jonny Pan AM champ
Afternoon coach, doing pwr cleans while his lifters finish up
More wild custom shoes
More on Facebook
Custom Weightlifting shoe
Made to customer specifications, detailed embroidery
Custom Youth Sizes available!
Little Gwen wears these for technique work in the gym. She also likes to match mommy and daddy in the gym. Lifting time is family time!
Bucharest Training Center
Ramanian Coach Doru, Ivan, Romanian Lifter Eiza
Nikolai Stoichkov- JR Bulgarian Lifter, son of Zdravco Stoichkov
Training with a pair of Botev shoes. These shoes take a beating of 18000 to 20000 reps per year and heavy loads 90-100% - Also known as the Bulgarian system.
Custom Singlets too- Made to Order
Future Champion- Tough lifters wear pink!
Gwendolyn Rojas getting ready to snatch 60kgs at 20kg bodyweight and 4 years old.
Stoichkov in Action
Coach Stoichkov adjusting my starting position.
Ivan giving training advice in Frankfurt Oder
Here Ivan, as a coach, is giving lifting advice to German Junior lifters at the Olympic Training Center in Frankfurt Oder, Germany. Yes, Ivan is fluent in German and is speaking German to the lifters.
Coach Ivan Rojas
Ivan Rojas is my coach and husband. Since training with Ivan, I have went down 3 weight classes while exceeding my prior best total (acheived while training by myself as a junior vs with proper training under Ivan).
During the 80's, Ivan trained extensively as a coach and lifter in former Eastern block countries as well as Cuba.
Working out with the Champs
Gwen squatting wth Georgiev, Peschalov, and new lifter in background
Training in Bulgaria - Gwen and Coach Zdravco Stoichov
Stoichov is coach of Peschalov, Georgiev, etc. Also of key interest: Similar to USA lifters missing out on their chance to medal at the 1980 Olympics , at the time of the boycotted '84 Olympic Games, Stoichkov outlifted the LA Games Gold Medalist at the Friendship Games/ Druzhba Games. The Druzhba Games were held in 1984 by Eastern bloc countries not participating in LA.
Ivan with Nikolai Gergov, Bulgarian Wrestling Champion
Ivan with the Greco wrestling world champ, Nikolai Gergov, after their workout. I still think its uncanny how elite athletes from multiple sports would just show up at Slavia for a workout (....and atleast one ask for lifting advice). Again, overall, Bulgarian athletes were humble or, rather, didn't "have an attitude" in the gym.
Gewichtheben - training at the German Olympic training center in Frankfurt am der Oder
Me with the German Junior Team and Coach/German Olympian Lars Betker
Coach Burgener Shoe
Portion of all sales got to Charity. A perfect shoe for our CrossFit friends! A wonderfully patriotic, Americana themed shoe and T-shirt. GO USA!!!
Gwen posing with Peschalov
Stoichkov during competitive years
Vintage photo of Stoichkov winning international Championship
Rumy, Bulgarian lifter
Rumy,75kg lifter, stops by for a light workout in Slavia, Bulgaria
Botev stops by Slavia
Gwen, Stefan Botev (multi-time Olympic Medalist and world champion), and Ivan
Gwen with Power Clean/slpit jerk with 80kg
First workout in Slavia.
Size perspective for youtube video
In Beijing, junior lifter
Ivan and Eric, the speedskater
After a hard work out, Ivan and Eric go summertime cycling in Maine. Eric is a competitive Speedskater and a proud owner of weightlifting shoes. Ahhh ...nothing like summers in Maine!!
World and European Champion, 62kg. Rooting for him to medal in the 2008 Olympic Games!
Hanging out with Weighlifting heroes
Peschalov, Stoichov, self, and husband
Old Stuff - early Risto Weight lifting Shoes
Peschalov and Coach
Peschalov trained with Stoichkov leading up to his Gold medal win in 2000 Olympic Games
Training in Kennedy, Bogota
Euvgeni Popov, Stoichov, and Gwen
Popov - 1980's Bulgarian weightlifting team, also accomplished power lifter and strongman competitor.
Beijing - Gongti Area
Gwen lifting at second training location in Beijing near Workers Stadium, Gongti
Sylvia, Bulgarian Junior lifter, wearing Botev shoes
Schoolage Champ, one of Stoichov's newer lifters. Sylvia also trains in Botev shoes. Her pair is also several years old and has lasted over 18K reps per year!
Romania - Training Center in Bucharest
Me trining with Romanian lifters in Bucharest. Former USAW National Coach, Dragomir Ciroslan, had once lifted in this gym.
Wrestling World Champion (Greco) Nikolay Gergov working out in Slavia (BG), me in background
Nikolay Gergov is a Bulgarian Wrestling World Champion - Greco Roman 66kg category. Nikolai is already naemd to the 2008 Bulgarian Olympic Team. He is also competing at a meet at the Colorado Springs US OTC later this month (FEB 08). Anyhow, Nikolai just stops by for a workout in Slavia. He saw Ivan and I working out and asked Ivan for some technique coaching.
Gwen with Chinese coach of junior team at Chaoyang Ti Yu Chang (Beijing)
The coach pictured with me had won a gold medal in the snatch lifting against Karolina Lundhal (world champion) at the 1998 Worlds in Finland in 75Kg class.
Lifters in Bucharest
Ivan with Coach Chiu, gongti area Beijing
After discussion of Chinese pull technique. Chiu is a former Junior World Champion.
Good Leather Smells good
Really, this was a Candid photo..."wow, this smells good", says Little Gwen
Ivan Lifting in China - 2006
Chinese training center, Chao Yang Ti Yu Chang in Beijing, a JR team pictured in background
Choayang Ti Yu Chang - Ivan with chinese junior lifters
Abigail Guererro, Almerimar, Spain 2004
In forefront, Abigail , who has been on the Spanish National Team, with teammates in background.
Me with Blessed Udoh, in Spain (DEC 2004)
Blessed won the silver medal in 48kg at the 2001 World Championships representing Nigeria. She also trained in Bulgaria for the 2004 Olympics. Sadly to report that she died in Nigeria, last year.
Gwen lifting at Chaoyang Ti Yu Chang - Beijing,
In Beijing, Chinese Juniors in background. Great kids, good sense of humor, listened to their formal coaches
Spain- Ivan and Miguel Borrazas
Our good friend Miguel has coached Spain's national team.
Ivan with Coach Ediberto Barbosa, fmr Col natl team
Mock Competition in Bogota
Gwen out snatches the challenger
Rick Bucinell, breaking master world record in Risto's!
Ivan arm wrestling Peschalov
My husband "attempting" to arm wrestle Peschalov with his good arm. Ivan remarked "Wow, he's strong..he was really trying to arm wrestle me" ..no kidding ....ha ha ha
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