The Gold Medal

Jim Smith was so surprised to see the pictures of my elephant lift. When he saw the truck and the plane, he put his hands on his head. He was so happy when he saw the 800-pound one-arm lift. I asked him, “Is it all right?”

He saw very clearly that I was lifting the weight off the power rack. Then he said, “I am sure you have done 1,000 pounds by now!”

We were still hiding the 1,000-pound picture, but then we showed it to him. When he saw it, he used the term “balmy.” He looked at it for a few seconds, then went running to the gym to show it to his students.

When he came back, he gave me a gold medal that he had had made when he heard I was definitely coming. He showed it to me and then put it around my neck. It says, “Sri Chinmoy — 5x bwt,” which means “five times body weight.” Then it says, “Right arm, November 1986.” Under that it says, “British Amateur Weight Lifters’ Association.” Then in Latin on a kind of crest or shield is written, “Faith moves mountains.” Jim apologised that the medal was already out of date, because he didn’t know before that I had already lifted more than six times my body weight. But he said he had definitely been expecting me to do it.

— 16 November 1986