Demetrius Tofalos was a Greek weightlifter who survived a serious childhood
injury and went on to defeat the great Austrian lifter Josef Steinbach to win the Gold Medal at the 1906 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. The winning effort for Tofalos in the “two-hand barbell lift” (i.e. clean and jerk) was 142.4 Kilograms.
t really was a “clean” and jerk, according to the rules of the time, lifters were penalized if the barbell touched any other part of the body as
they brought it to their chest. Tofalos’ record stood for the next eight years.
Tofalos was also a very successful professional wrestler although a defeat by American Champion Frank Gotch forced his retirement. Tofalos eventually went on to manage “The Golden Greek” Jim Londos.
Today, a sports arena is named in Tofalos’ honor in his hometown of Patras, Greece.