Iran’s Hossein Rezazadeh had won the super heavyweight gold in Sydney, setting a new world record on the way and earning himself the title of the world's strongest man. Heralded by many throughout the world of weightlifting for breaking the monopoly of Soviet and then Russian weightlifters in the super heavyweight category, back home in Iran, he was acclaimed as sportsman of the year.
Rezazadeh continued to dominate his weight category in the years following the 2000 Games. He won the world championship title in both 2002 and 2003, the Asian Games in 2002 and the Asian Championships in 2003.
He was so popular at home that the Iranian president gave him enough money to buy a house and his wedding was broadcast live on national television. He was even offered the chance to earn a fortune by representing another nation, but turned the offer down flat saying “I am Iranian and I love my country”.
In Athens Rezazadeh made his country proud once more, all of as he brought all of his technical prowess and strength to bear. He succeeded with all three of his attempts at the snatch and then, in the clean and jerk, be broke his own world record with a mighty lift of 263.5kg. His total of 472.5kg broke the Olympic record and equalled his own world record and confirmed his place as one of the greats of his sport.