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Tian Tao: A Behind-the-Scenes Look At His Recovery

Tian Tao is one of the standout names in the world of Olympic weightlifting; however, as of recently, his career has been on a rough path. After winning big at the Asian Games, he had to undergo surgery on a shoulder issue that had been bothering him for quite a while, but that intervention led to many fans wondering if he would be able to compete at the Olympic Games this summer or ever again. 

In a conversation with us, Tian Tao shared that many of his injuries came from when he was younger, but the shoulder one happened at the Asian Games after a tendon broke in the joint. After that, he was unable to make any overhead movement, and the only way out was to get surgery.

Even though many fans faced the news of his injury in sorrow as they assumed it meant an end to his Olympic dream and possibly his career, they will be happy to find out that Tao has been training every single day in the weightlifting hall and in the gym. His current routine consists of rehab work with a physiotherapist (more on it in the video), and it includes many movements designed to help him recover his strength faster. 

Typically, after this type of surgery people find it difficult even to lift a pen. However, Tao was able to start doing rehab and even some overhead movement one month after the surgery. He plans on going back to Snatch and C&J soon but says that he still feels pain when doing light overhead loads. 


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While Tian Tao has been out, his main competitors in the 89 kg division haven’t been resting – Bulgarian Karlos Nasar set a new C&J world record during the IWF World Cup in Doha, but he is not the only one in peak form as Keydomar from Venezuela and Pizzolato from Italy will also be eager to stand on the Olympic podium this year.

The good thing is that Tao isn’t spending his time worrying about them – instead, he’s working on his rehab and hoping to return in April for the World Cup in Thailand, as it’s the last chance to qualify for the Paris Games this summer. 

If you want to learn more about Tao’s journey to injury and his rehab program, you can check out our video. As always, if you want to be up-to-date with all the latest in the world of weightlifting, make sure to follow us on social media and read our daily news blog

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Tanya Shaiko

Author: Tanya Shaiko
News Editor, Olympic Lifting Enthusiast

Oly Lifting Experience: 6 years
Best ResultsSnatch – 61 kg,
C&J – 78 kg

I’m Tanya, and I just can’t do without fitness. About six years ago, I got into Olympic weightlifting and instantly fell in love with it. Weightlifting is like no other sport – it’s just you versus the bar. Driven by my unwavering passion for an active lifestyle, I’ve been eager to share my personal journey and sports enthusiasm with others. As a journalist and photographer, my interests come full circle, adding an extra dimension to the news column that I curate. This way, I keep my readers updated with the latest happenings in the sports world.

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