Top 10 Weightlifters of All Time
Weightlifting is an athletic discipline in which the athletes compete against each other by attempting the maximum-weight single lift of a barbell with lift weight plates. There are two competition lifts in order, i.e. snatch, and clean and jerk. Weightlifting is a popular programme in the Olympic Games, and each athlete receives three attempts in each, after which, the combined total of the two highest successful lifts helps in determining the winner. Weightlifters compete in separate categories based on their body weight. Here is a list of Top 10 Weightlifters of All Time. Let us take a look at their achievements and contributions to the sport, in a nutshell.
Top 10 Weightlifters of All Time
10. Naim Süleymanoğlu
Legendary former Turkish weightlifter Naim Süleymanoğlu won three Olympic gold medals, seven world Championships medals and six European titles, and is inducted in the 10th place in our list of Top 10 Weightlifters of All Time. He was nicknamed “The Pocket Hercules” for his small 4 foot -10 inch height, and is the only weightlifter to snatch 2.5 times his body weight. He became the strongest man ever while lifting 3.16 times of his body weight at Summer Olympics clean and jerk event in 1988. Naim Süleymanoğlu set 46 world records during his active weightlifting career and is the athlete to clean and jerk 10 Kgs more than triple of his bodyweight. He received the Olympic Order in 2001 and was inducted in the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame in 2004.
♦ You May Also Like ⇒ 10 Athletes who have Other Professions
9. Yuri Vardanyan
Retired Russian-born Armenian weightlifter Yuri Vardanyan became the first weightlifter to lift 400 kilogram total in the 82.5 kg weight class. He set several world records during his active weightlifting career and is inducted in the ninth place in our list of Top 10 Weightlifters of All Time. Yuri Vardanyan won the gold medal at the 1980 Summer Olympics. He started training in Leninakan, Armenia, and achieved the title of Honored Master of Sports of the USSR in 1977. He received the Order of Lenin in 1985 and was inducted as a member of the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame in 1994. Yuri Vardanyan became the adviser of President Serzh Sargsyan in 2009 and became the Minister of Sports in May 2013. He was appointed as Armenia’s ambassador to Georgia in June, 2013.
♦ You May Also Like ⇒ 10 Most Entertaining Athletes in the World
8. Vasily Alekseyev
Legendary Former Russian weightlifter Vasiliy Ivanovich Alekseyev set a total of 81 Soviet records and 80 world records in his active weightlifting career and is inducted in the eighth place in our list of Top 10 Weightlifters of All Time. He won gold medals in the Olympic Games twice consecutively at 1972 Munich Summer Olympics and the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics. Vasily Alekseyev was named the best sportsman of the 20th century in Greece in 1999. He recived several prestigious awards throughout his life such as Order of Lenin, Order of the Red Banner of Labour, Order of Friendship of Peoples and Order of the Badge of Honour. Vasily Alekseyev was inducted in the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame in 1993. He was featured on the Sports Illustrated cover, on April 14, 1975, with the title “World’s Strongest Man”.
♦ You May Also Like ⇒ Top 10 Sporting Events with Greatest Television Audience
7. Charles Vinci
Legendary American weightlifter Charles Robert Vinci, Jr. set 12 world records in the bantamweight class during his heydays between 1955 and 1960. He is an Olympic champion and World Champion, and is also the seventh place inductee in our list of Top 10 Weightlifters of All Time. Charles Vinci won the Olympic gold medal twice consecutively at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Olympics and 1960 Rome Summer Olympics. He won gold medals at the 1955 and 1959 Pan American games. Charles Vinci won the United States Senior National Championship continuesly in two spells from 1954 to 1956 and from 1958 to 1961. He during his active career of weightlifting set and held several records in events of snatch, clean and jerk and also in overall total.
♦ You May Also Like ⇒ Top 10 Female Athletes who Competed against Men
6. Andrei Chemerkin
Former Russian weightlifter Andrey Ivanovich Chemerkin won the gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics and the bronze medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics, and is also the sixth inductee in our list of Top 10 Weightlifters of All Time. He won the World Weightlifting Championships gold medal four times and set 7 world records during his active weightlifting career. Andrei Chemerkin also won the European Weightlifting Championships twice consecutively in 1994 and 1995. He first won the 1992 junior world weightlifting championship and became the three warriors tournament winner in Russia. Chemerkin, after numerous achievements and titles in between, set the record of 262.5 kg Clean and jerk event and 462.5 kg overall at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
♦ You may Also Like ⇒ 10 Horrible Controversies Regarding NFL
5. Halil Mutlu
Professional Turkish weightlifter Halil Mutlu is one of the four weightlifters to win three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games and is inducted in the fifth place in our list of Top 10 Weightlifters of All Time. He won a total of five World championships and nine European championships, and set more than 20 world records in the 52 Kg class. Halil Mutlu first won the gold medal while setting a new world record in the 1996 World Championships and repeated the same in 1999 World Championships in the 54 Kg class. Throughout his heydays he was undefeated until the 2000 Olympics where he showed even being more dominant in the 56 Kg class while setting world records in both the events. Halil Mutlu is now coached by Ibrahim Elmali and is a member of Konya Kombassan Club.
♦ You may Also Like ⇒ 10 Dishonest Players who Pay Huge Compensations
4. Liao Hui
Superior Chinese weightlifter Liao Hui is the current record holder of the all three event in the 69 kg class with his clean and jerk of 198 kg and an overall total of 359 kg. He is a three time world champion and a marvelous Olympic champion, and is inducted in the fourth place in our list of Top 10 Weightlifters of All Time. Liao Hui first broke two of the two junior world records in the 2007 Chinese City Games and became the gold meddler at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics in the 69 kg class. He twice won the World Weightlifting Championships in 2009 and 2013. Hui first broke the world record in both the clean and jerk, and total at 2010 World Weightlifting Championships. Liao Hui recently set the new records in the snatch of 166 kg and overall total of 359 kg at the 2013 World Weightlifting Championships in the 69 kg class.
♦ You may Also Like ⇒ 10 Race Drivers who are also Actors
3. Ilya Ilyin
Kazakh weightlifter Ilya Aleksandrovich Ilyin is the current record holder of the all three event in the 94 kg class with his clean and jerk of 233 kg and overall total of 418 kg. He is a two time Olympic champion and won the title of world championships four times. He is the third place achiever in our list of Top 10 Weightlifters of All Time. Ilya Ilyin won the gold medal in 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Olympics both in 94 kg class. He set the Olympic record total of 418 kg in the 2012 Summer Olympics. He won the 2011 world championship in the men’s 94 kg class. He was named the best Asian athlete along with Zulfiya Chinshanlo and Olga Rypakova by the Olympic Council of Asia on November 8, 2012. Ilya Ilyin is now a member of the Astana Presidential Sports Club.
♦ You may Also Like ⇒ Top 10 Players with Premature End of Career
2. Hossein Rezazadeh
A retired Iranian weightlifter Hossein Rezazadeh is a two-time Olympic champion and is inducted in the second place in our list of Top 10 Weightlifters of All Time. He also won the Asian Games twice and World Weightlifting championship four times in his active career. His accolades are also decorated with numerous prestigious awards as he received the Iran Sportsperson of the Year award a record four times which is more than any other athletes in Iran’s history and is also the first Iranian athlete to win two Olympic gold medals. Hossein Rezazadeh enjoyed a celebrity life in his country and his marriage at Mecca in February 2003 was live telecast on state television in Iran. He received a badge of courage from Iranian President Mohammad Khatami and named the “Champion of Champions” in 2002.
1. Paul Anderson
American weightlifter and powerlifter Paul Edward Anderson was a gold medalist in Olympic weightlifting and also a two time National Champion. He was one of the most well-known athletes of his time and played a major role in the introduction of powerlifting as a major competitive sport. Paul Anderson is widely considered as one of the strongest men in recorded history and is inducted in the top place in our list of Top 10 Weightlifters of All Time. Paul participated in a tough duel with Argentine Humberto Selvetti at 1956 Australia Olympic Games and won the gold medal in the super-heavyweight class while suffering from a 104 degree fever. He was included in the 1985 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records for lifting in back 2844.02 kg to set the greatest weight ever raised by a human being.
♦ You may Also Like ⇒ 10 Most Embarrassing Records in Sports
These weightlifters have to undergo rigorous training to increase their fitness, and apply their body strength appropriately, so that they can not only lift heavy weights but do so without injuring themselves. For nations that are noted for their athletic prowess, it is observed that weightlifting often contributes largely to the number of medals taken home by them, not just in the Olympics but in other tournaments, as well.