Greatest Olympic weightlifters of all time | Sunday Observer

Greatest Olympic weightlifters of all time

29 November, 2020

There is no sport in the Olympics that tests the physical strength of an individual more than the sport of weightlifting. Over the course of the years, we have seen great powerhouses, Herculean feats of strength and rigour and world records broken on the grandest stage of them all. 

But there are some who have gone that one step further and etched their names in Olympic folklore. 

#1 Liu Chunhong (China)

Liu Chunhong makes it into this list as the only woman in Olympic weightlifting to win back-to-back gold medals in the same weight category. She managed to win gold medals in the 69 Kg class in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics in Athens and Beijing respectively.

She clinched the Gold in 2008 setting Olympic records in both Snatch and, Clean & Jerk with lifts of 128 kg and 158 kg respectively for a combined world record of 286 kg. 

Olympic Appearances: 2
Medals: 2 Golds
World Championships: 2 Golds

#2 Waldemar Baszanowski (Poland)

Waldemar Baszanowski was a Polish weightlifter who competed in the 67.5 Kg class. He won gold medals in two consecutive games in the 1964 and 1968 Olympics. He won 5 World Championships and 5 Silver medals, a combined 10 medals which is more than any weightlifter in history.

In 1993, Baszanowski was inducted into the International Weightlifting Federation’s Hall of Fame thus sealing his legacy as one of the greatest weightlifters of all time.

Olympic Appearances: 2
Medals: 2 Golds
World Championships: 5 Golds, 5 Silvers

#3 Charles Vinci (USA)

Charles Vinci was an American weightlifter who competed in the Bantamweight class. He won gold in the 1956 and 1960 Summer Olympics. Vinci had also won 2 gold medals in the 1955 and 1959 Pan American games.

In his career, Vinci had set 12 World Records in the bantamweight class between 1955 and 1960. He held records in Snatch, Clean & Jerk, In Press as well as in total weight lifted by any weight lifter.

Olympic Appearances : 2
Medals: 2 Golds
World Championships: 2 Silvers

#4 Zhou Lulu (China)

The reigning strongest woman in the world, Zhou Lulu comes into the list at number 7. She achieved this feat in 2012 in a head-to-head tussle with Russian Tatiana Kashirina beating her by one kg in total lift.

The Russian had set the world record in her last attempt with a net lift of 332 Kg, only to be ousted soon after by Zhou in her final attempt as she claimed gold for China and securing the title of the strongest woman in the world in the women’s +75 kg class.

Olympic Appearances: 1
Medals: 1 Gold
World Championships: 1 Gold, 1 Silver

#5  Leonid Zhabotynsky (Soviet Union)

Leonid Zhabotynsky was a Soviet weightlifter who set 19 world records in his illustrious career. He also won Gold in the super heavyweight category in the 1964 and 1968 Olympic Games. Apart from his Olympic achievements, he also won 4 world championships and 2 European championships titles over the course of his professional career

Olympic Appearances: 2
Medals: 2 Golds
World Championships: 4 Golds, 1 Bronze