Weightlifting at the 1906 Olympics

Posted on Sunday, February 16th, 2014 by John Wood

A rare look at the “two arm lift” event at the 1906 Olympics. Silver medal winner Josef Steinbach of Austria is shown here lifting while the eventual winner Demetrious Tofalos of Greece, looks on. Steinbach took gold in the single-arm lifting event later on. As a point of interest, the 1906 Olympics is now referred to as the “Intercalated Games.”

George Roth

Posted on Monday, February 10th, 2014 by John Wood

George Roth

George Roth, from east Hollywood, California, (and eventual USC grad, class of ’42) managed to accomplish a feat which will never again be equaled: at the 1932 Los Angeles games, he won an Olympic gold medal in the sport of Indian club swinging. Club swinging, which was part of the gymnastics program at the time, has not appeared in the Olympic games since then.

Also in the probably-won’t-see-this-again department, Roth, after accepting his gold medal in front of 60,000 people, hitchhiked home.

Philip Erenberg and William Kuhlemeier, also both of the USA, finished with the Silver and Bronze medals respectively. Francisco José Álvarez, of Mexico, finished fourth.

Tug O’ War at the 1906 Olympic Games

Posted on Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 by John Wood

Here’s a rare look at the Tug O’ War event at the 1906 Olympic Games held in Athens Greece. It looks like the Gold Medal-winning German team is on the right — notable because several of its members were also champion weightlifters, namely Heinrich Rondi and Heinrich Schneidereit. The Greek team took Silver while Sweden took Bronze. Josef Steinbach was also a member of the Austrian team which finished fourth.
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Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2021 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Stan Stanczyk

Posted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2013 by John Wood

Stan Stanczyk

The great Olympic weightlifter Stan Stanczyk was the first man to win three successive World titles in three different weight classes. Lifting for the York Barbell Club, he won five in all. He also won six Senior National titles, a Gold Medal at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, England, a Gold at the 1951 Pan-American Games and a Silver Medal at the 1952 Helsinki Games.

Stanczyk set eight word records during his lifting career. He was also a fairly good bodybuilder, placing very respectably in the few contests he entered.

Rene Duverger

Posted on Saturday, January 19th, 2013 by John Wood
Rene Duverger - French Olympic Weightlifting Champion
The French weightlifter Rene Duverger won the Gold in the lightweight class (67.5kg) at the 1932 Olympic games in Los Angeles, California. Duverger’s total was 325kg on the day and comprised of a 97.5 kg press, a 102.5 kg snatch and a 125 kg clean and jerk.

Jaroslav Skobla

Posted on Friday, November 30th, 2012 by John Wood

Jaroslav Skolba

Jaroslav Skobla, the great Czechoslovakian weightlifter, won the Gold Medal in the heavyweight class at the 1932 Olympic Summer Games in Los Angeles where his total was 380 kg: Skobla won Bronze at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics with a 357.5 kg total.

1932 Olympic Weightlifting Event Ticket Stub

Posted on Friday, November 16th, 2012 by John Wood
Here’s a true piece of Olympic Weightlifting History: a ticket stub from the lifting finals of the 1932 Summer Games held in Los Angeles, California.

If you had one of these in your back pocket on July, 31st, 1932 you would have gotten to see Raymond Suvigny of France set the Olympic record in the Featherweight class with a 287.5 kg total, the great German lifter Rudolf Ismayr take the Gold in the middleweight class with a 345.0 kg total (also an Olympic record) and Jaroslav Skobla, the Czechoslovakian champion take the Gold in the heavyweights with a 380 kg total.

1924 Olympic Globe Barbells

Posted on Saturday, November 3rd, 2012 by John Wood

1924 Olympic Globe Barbells

In the early Olympic games, the athletes had the choice of using plate-loaded barbells or shot-loaded globe barbells. Shown here is the selection of weights for the 1924 Olympic games in Paris, France, the last time that this choice was available.  The great French champion Charles Rigoulot won the Gold medal in the heavyweight class, and, interestingly, was the only lifter who chose to compete with the shot loaded globe barbells.


Tommy Kono ~ Strength and Health Magazine, August, 1955

Posted on Thursday, October 25th, 2012 by John Wood

Strength and Health Magazine, August, 1955 - Tommy Kono Cover

Tommy Kono graces the cover of the August, 1955 issue of Strength and Health magazine. Just a few months later, in October of 1955, Tommy would go on to take the Gold medal in the light-heavyweight (82.5 kg) class at the World Championships held in in Munich, West Germany. Kono’s winning total was 435 kg, and consisted of a 142.5 kg press, a 127.5 kg snatch and a 165 kg clean and jerk.

1947 World’s Weight Lifting Championships Official Program

Posted on Tuesday, July 17th, 2012 by John Wood
A look at the Official Program for the 1947 World’s Weight Lifting Championships held at the Municipal Auditorium in Philadelphia, PA.  Pictured are members of the 1946 US team consisting of Stanley Stanczyk, Frank Spellman, John Terpak, Emerick Ishikawa, Bob Hoffman and Frank Kay (Not pictured: John Davis).

At the Championships, which were held on September 26 and 27th, 1947, the US team ran the table, taking the Gold Medal in every single weight class and winning 10 medals overall.