Frans De Haes
Posted on Monday, June 21st, 2021 by John Wood
Franciscus “Frans” De Haes was a Belgian weightlifter who won the very first gold medal ever awarded in the featherweight class at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp. 1920 was the first time that weightlifting was divided into weight categories. In those days, International weightlifting competition consisted of three events, but probably not the ones you are thinking of: the clean and jerk, the 1-hand snatch, and the 1-hand clean and jerk. The weightlifting event was held outside on the infield of the stadium under a tent where it was cold and dark. The loose cinder surface also made footing difficult. De Haes took the gold with a 220 kg total.