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.
Like many strongmen of the period, he was also a very good wrestler. Later, Le Gaulois owned a café/gymnasium which was the gathering place for the famous strongmen of the day. Also, so you know, “le Gaulois” was not his actual last name but a nickname The Gaul, which referred to his outstanding mustache.
Lurich won the World Greco-Roman Wrestling Championship in 1912 and was the last man to face Frank Gotch before Gotch retired in 1913. As far as strength feats, among others, Lurich is credited with a one-arm jerk of 267 lbs., and a two-arm clean & jerk of 344 lbs — both of which would still be impressive today.
In 1925, Cadine performed a one-arm swing with 90 kilos which was actually greater than his own bodyweight. Cadine could also right hand snatch 211 pounds and one-hand deadlifted the famous Apollon Wheels.
Also of note is the sand-pit floor — you’ll see this feature a lot in old school physical culture gyms as it made it so globe barbells and dumbbells were not damaged if they were ever dropped.