Colombian Weightlifter Wins Gold, Bids Emotional Farewell to Olympics | NBC Connecticut
2016 Rio Olympic Games

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Colombian Weightlifter Wins Gold, Bids Emotional Farewell to Olympics

After winning he removed his shoes in weightlifting’s traditional signal of retirement from the sport

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    Oscar Figueroa of Colombia reacts to winning the gold in the men's 62 kg weightlifting competition at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

    Nobody can say Colombian weightlifter Óscar Figueroa didn’t leave it all on the platform.

    In an emotional finish to his Olympic career, the 33-year-old Figueroa bid farewell to weightlifting after winning his country’s first gold of the Rio Games on Monday night.

    Having already clinched gold in the men’s 62 kg (136.6 lbs) weight class with a total lift of 318 kg (701.1 lbs), Figueroa just missed a clean and jerk attempt of of 179 kg (394.6 lbs), which would have broken his own Olympic record of 177 kg set at the 2012 London Games, where he took home a silver with a total lift of 317 kg.

    Eyes full of tears, the four-time Olympian raised his arms in thanks to a roaring crowd on his home continent, then fell to his knees and took off his shoes, leaving them on the platform in front of him in weightlifting’s traditional signal of retirement from the sport. Shoes removed, he kissed one of the sets of the plates on the barbell and took a bow.

    Figueroa’s gold medal effort was split between a 142 kg lift in the snatch and a 176 kg clean and jerk. Indonesia’s Eko Yuli Irawan took silver with a total lift of 312 kg and Kazakhstan’s Farkhad Kharki secured the bronze with a combined lift of 305 kg.