Koji Murofushi, 34, is a two-time Olympic medalist hammer thrower — with a gold at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and a bronze in Beijing this year — and the Asian record holder at 84.86 meters (2003). He's been a national champion 14 times in a row, and at the Asian Games, his efforts earned him the silver in 1994 and the gold in 1998 and 2002. That year, he also won another gold at the Grand Prix Final. His long list of achievements goes on to include two gold medals in 2006, one at the World Athletics Final and one at the World Cup. Koji credits his father, Shigenobu, the legendary "Iron Man of Asia" and a four-time Olympian hammer thrower, for putting him and his sister, Yuka, on the right track. With his guidance, both children developed into world-class athletes. Yuka throws discus and hammer and won the 2000 silver and 2005 bronze in the Asian Championships. These champs have already pumped enough iron to build a small stadium, but Koji and Yuka continue going the distance. They're powered by their grandma's love, which lifts their spirits so high that they can keep throwing even further.

I feel like I am flying when I throw. The tension on the hammer is up to 400 kg when I throw 80 meters, but I don't feel it. I release the hammer, and we're up there, flying.

To get stronger, use the power of communication. I talk to the hammer all the time. "Hey, buddy, good job! We made it. We worked really hard to get here. Now can you give me some power, please? I'll do my best, too." It supports me a lot. If my condition is bad, it gives me the extra strength I need.