Dimas is going for fourth gold

Updated: August 17, 2004, 1:23 AM ET
Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece -- Greek weightlifting star Pyrros Dimas sought hospital treatment after injuring his right wrist in practice Monday, five days before he goes for a record-setting fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal.

Dimas underwent X-rays at the Nikaia Hospital, near the site of the weightlifting competition, but Greek team officials were still awaiting the results of a magnetic resonance imaging test. The X-rays did not show any bone damage.

Dimas, known as the "Lion of Chimara" after the town in Albania where he was born to parents of Greek origin, had left knee surgery three months ago. "If I have to, I will lift on one leg," he told reporters at the time.

On Monday, he joked: "Now, I will lift with one arm if I have to."

In addition to being a three-time Olympic champion, Dimas, 32, is a three-time world champion. He tied for fourth in the European championships in April, his first major competition since the 2000 Sydney Games.

Dimas, who competes at 187 pounds (85kg), and Greek teammate Khaki Kakiasvilis, a 207-pounder (94kg), are trying to become the first weightlifters with four consecutive Olympic gold medals. They are tied with Turkey's Naim Suleymanoglu and Halil Mutlu with three golds each; Mutlu won his third Sunday.

Dimas, one of Greece's most popular athletes, was known as Pirro Ohima when he competed for Albania at the 1990 European championships. After learning from a sportswriter that his grandparents were born in Greece, he emigrated there.

He was chosen as Greece's athlete of the year in 1992, 1993, 1995 and 1996, and a stadium in his honor was built near Mount Olympus. He currently appears in widely seen advertising for a shoe manufacturer and a telecommunications company.

A sellout crowd at the newly constructed Nikaia Olympic Weightlifting Hall is assured Saturday night for Dimas' record attempt.

Dimas carried the Greek flag during the opening ceremony Friday night.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press