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The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting 

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Updated May 25, 2020 4.1k votes 905 voters 19k views

This is a list of the best weightlifting Olympic athletes of all time, with photos of the athletes when available. The famous weightlifting event Olympians on this list are all regarded as some of the toughest athletes to have ever competed at the Olympics. Almost every one of these historic weightlifting Olympians have taken home a medal, which is why they've earned a spot on this list.

Only the greatest weightlifting Olympic athletes are featured on the front page of this list, so be sure to vote for who you believe are the best weightlifting athletes and vote down the ones you disagree with. Athletes on this list include everyone from Cheryl Haworth to Alfred Neuland.

If you enjoyed this list of the best Olympic athletes of all time, head on over and check out this list of things you didn't know about the history of the Olympics.

list ordered by
1
Naim Süleymanoğlu ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
KenanAlparslan added Turkey, Bulgaria

Age: 52

Date Of Birth: 1967-01-23

Place Of Birth: Bulgaria, Earth, Europe, European Union, Eastern Europe

Olympic Medalist Event Competition: Weightlifting at the 1992 Summer Olympics - Men's Featherweight 56-60 kg, Weightlifting at the 1988 Summer Olympics - Men's Featherweight 56-60 kg, Weightlifting at the 1996 Summer Olympics - Men's Featherweight 59-64 kg

Olympic Medalist Event: Men's Weightlifting, Featherweight 56-60kg, Men's Weightlifting, Featherweight 59-64kg

Olympic Medalist Games: 1992 Summer Olympics, 1988 Summer Olympics, 1996 Summer Olympics

Olympic Medals Won: Gold medal

Naim Süleymanoğlu (born Naim Suleimanov; 23 January 1967 – 18 November 2017) was a Turkish world and Olympic Champion in weightlifting, who was nicknamed “The Pocket Hercules” because of ...more
2
Halil Mutlu is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
KenanAlparslan added Turkey

Age: 45

Date Of Birth: 1973-07-14

Place Of Birth: Bulgaria, Earth, Europe, European Union, Eastern Europe

Olympic Medalist Event Competition: Weightlifting at the 2004 Summer Olympics - Men's Bantamweight -56 kg, Weightlifting at the 2000 Summer Olympics - Men's Bantamweight -56 kg

Olympic Medalist Event: Men's Weightlifting, Bantamweight -56kg

Olympic Medalist Games: 2004 Summer Olympics, 2000 Summer Olympics

Olympic Medals Won: Gold medal

Halil Mutlu (born Halil Aliev (Bulgarian: Халил Алиев) on July 14, 1973 in Postnik, Bulgaria) is a professional Turkish weightlifter with several World and Olympic championships. Mutlu is one of ...more
3
Lasha Talakhadze is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
IvaneLolashvili added Lasha Talakhadze Georgian

Age: 25

Olympic Country: Georgia

Date Of Birth: 1993

Place Of Birth: Sachkhere, Georgia

Olympic Sport: Weightlifting

Weight: 105+

Georgian

Lasha Talakhadze (Georgian: ლაშა ტალახაძე; born 2 October 1993) is a Georgian weightlifter, Olympic Champion[3], and three time World Champion competing in the super-heavyweight category (105 kg + until 2018[4][4] and 109 kg + starting in 2018 after the International Weightlifting Federation reorganized the categories). 

4
Pyrros Dimas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
Алпан Балкыш added Pyrros Dimas Greece

Age: 47

Date Of Birth: 1971-10-13

Place Of Birth: Himarë, Albania, Vlorë District, Vlorë County, Earth, + more

Olympic Medalist Event Competition: Weightlifting at the 1992 Summer Olympics - Men's Light Heavyweight 75-82.5 kg, Weightlifting at the 1996 Summer Olympics - Men's Light Weightlifting 76- 83 kg, Weightlifting at the 2004 Summer Olympics - Men's Light Heavyweight 77- 85 kg, Weightlifting at the 2000 Summer Olympics - Men's Light Heavyweight 77- 85 kg

Olympic Medalist Event: Men's Weightlifting, Light Heavyweight 75-82.5kg, Men's Weightlifting, Light Heavyweight 76- 83 kg, Men's Weightlifting, + more

Olympic Medalist Games: 1992 Summer Olympics, 1996 Summer Olympics, 2004 Summer Olympics, 2000 Summer Olympics

Olympic Medals Won: Gold medal, Bronze medal

Pyrros Dimas (Greek: Πύρρος Δήμας; pronounced [piros ðimas]; born 13 October 1971) is a Greek former weightlifter. He is currently the technical director for USA Weightlifting, having taken ...more
5
Kakhi Kakhiashvili is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
Алпан Балкыш added

Age: 49

Date Of Birth: 1969-07-13

Place Of Birth: Tskhinvali, Georgia, South Ossetia, Europe, Asia, + more

Olympic Medalist Event Competition: Weightlifting at the 2000 Summer Olympics - Men's Middle Heavyweight 85- 94 kg, Weightlifting at the 1992 Summer Olympics - Men's Middle Heavyweight 82.5-90 kg, Weightlifting at the 1996 Summer Olympics - Men's First Heavyweight 91-99 kg

Olympic Medalist Event: Men's Weightlifting, Middle Heavyweight 85-94 kg, Men's Weightlifting, Middle Heavyweight 82.5-90 kg, Men's Weightlifting, + more

Olympic Medalist Games: 2000 Summer Olympics, 1992 Summer Olympics, 1996 Summer Olympics

Olympic Medals Won: Gold medal

Kakhi Kakhiashvili (Georgian: კახი კახიაშვილი, Greek: Ακάκιος Κακιασβίλης; born 13 July 1969 in Tskhinvali, South Ossetian AO, Georgian SSR, USSR) is a Georgian-Greek weightlifter, is one of ...more
6
Ilya Ilyin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
Kazakhstan

Age: 30

Olympic Country: Kazakhstan

Date Of Birth: 1988-05-24

Place Of Birth: Kyzylorda, Kazakhstan

Olympic Sport: Weightlifting

Olympic Medalist Event Competition: Weightlifting at the 2008 Summer Olympics - Men's Middle Heavyweight 85-94 kg, Weightlifting at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Men's 94 kg

Weight: 94

Olympic Medalist Event: Men's Weightlifting, Middle Heavyweight 85-94 kg

Olympic Medalist Games: The London 2012 Summer Olympics, 2008 Summer Olympics

Olympic Games Participant: The London 2012 Summer Olympics, 2008 Summer Olympics

Olympic Medals Won: Gold medal

Ilya Aleksandrovich Ilyin is a Kazakh weightlifter. Ilyin has won two Olympic championships and four world championships. He is currently the world and Olympic record holder in both the clean ...more
7
Vasiliy Alekseyev is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
Алпан Балкыш added Russia, Soviet Union

Age: Dec. at 69 (1942-2011)

Date Of Birth: 1942-01-07

Place Of Birth: Ryazan Oblast, Russia, Europe, Asia, North Eurasia, + more

Olympic Medalist Event Competition: Weightlifting at the 1976 Summer Olympics - Men's Super Heavyweight +110 kg, Weightlifting at the 1972 Summer Olympics - Men's Super Heavyweight +110 kg

Olympic Medalist Event: Men's Weightlifting, Super Heavyweight +110

Olympic Medalist Games: 1976 Summer Olympics, 1972 Summer Olympics

Olympic Medals Won: Gold medal

Vasily Ivanovich Alekseyev (Russian: Василий Иванович Алексеев; 7 January 1942 – 25 November 2011) was a Soviet weightlifter. He set 80 world records and 81 Soviet records in weightlifting and ...more
8
Hossein Reza Zadeh is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
Алпан Балкыш added

Age: 40

Date Of Birth: 1978-05-12

Place Of Birth: Ardabil, Iran, Ardabīl Province, Earth, Middle East, + more

Olympic Medalist Event Competition: Weightlifting at the 2004 Summer Olympics - Men's Super Heavyweight +105 kg, Weightlifting at the 2000 Summer Olympics - Men's Super Heavyweight +105kg

Olympic Medalist Event: Men's Weightlifting, Super Heavyweight + 105kg

Olympic Medalist Games: 2004 Summer Olympics, 2000 Summer Olympics

Olympic Medals Won: Gold medal

Hossein Rezazadeh (Persian: حسین رضازاده‎, born 12 May 1978) is an Iranian politician and retired Olympic weightlifter. Rezazadeh is a two-time Olympic champion, four-time World Weightlifting ...more
9
Dmitry Klokov is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
Russia

Age: 36

Olympic Country: Russia

Date Of Birth: 1983-02-18

Place Of Birth: Balashikha, Russia, Moscow Oblast, Europe, Asia, + more

Olympic Sport: Weightlifting

Olympic Medalist Event Competition: Weightlifting at the 2008 Summer Olympics - Men's Heavyweight 94 - 105 kg

Olympic Medalist Event: Men's Weightlifting, Heavyweight 94 - 105 kg

Olympic Medalist Games: 2008 Summer Olympics

Olympic Games Participant: 2008 Summer Olympics

Olympic Medals Won: Silver medal

Dmitriy Vyacheslavovich Klokov (Russian: Дмитрий Вячеславович Клоков; born February 18, 1983) is a Russian former Olympic weightlifter, and World Champion. He competed in the 105 kg category.
10
Leonid Zhabotinsky is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
Алпан Балкыш added

Age: 81

Date Of Birth: 1938-01-28

Place Of Birth: Sumy Oblast, Ukraine, Europe, Earth, Northern Hemisphere

Olympic Medalist Event Competition: Weightlifting at the 1964 summer Olympics - Men's Heavyweight +90 kg, Weightlifting at the 1968 Summer Olympics - Men's Heavyweight +90 kg

Olympic Medalist Event: Men's Weightlifting, Heavyweight +90

Olympic Medalist Games: 1964 Summer Olympics, 1968 Summer Olympics

Olympic Medals Won: Gold medal

Leonid Ivanovych Zhabotynsky (Ukrainian: Леонiд Iванович Жаботинський; 28 January 1938 – 14 January 2016) was a Ukrainian weightlifter who set 19 world records in the superheavyweight class, and ...more
11
Nurcan Taylan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
Алпан Балкыш added Turkey

Age: 35

Date Of Birth: 1983-10-29

Place Of Birth: Ankara, Turkey, Ankara Province, Europe, Asia, + more

Olympic Medalist Event Competition: Weightlifting at the 2004 Summer Olympics - Women's 48 kg

Olympic Medalist Event: Women's Weightlifting, 48kg

Olympic Medalist Games: 2004 Summer Olympics

Olympic Medals Won: Gold medal

Nurcan Taylan (born October 29, 1983 in Ankara, Turkey) is a Turkish Olympic, world and European champion in weightlifting. She holds six European and one world record (and tied two more world ...more
12
Matthias Steiner is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
Germany, Austria

Age: 36

Olympic Country: Germany

Date Of Birth: 1982-08-25

Place Of Birth: Vienna, Austria, Earth, Europe, Western Europe, + more

Olympic Sport: Weightlifting

Olympic Medalist Event Competition: Weightlifting at the 2008 Summer Olympics - Men's Super Heavyweight +105 kg

Olympic Medalist Event: Men's Weightlifting, Super Heavyweight + 105kg

Olympic Medalist Games: 2008 Summer Olympics

Olympic Games Participant: 2008 Summer Olympics

Olympic Medals Won: Gold medal

Matthias Steiner (born 25 August 1982 in Vienna) is a retired Austrian-German weightlifter, and Olympic gold medalist. As a native Austrian, he competed for Austria internationally from 1998 to ...more
13
Bünyamin Sudaş is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
Bünyamin Sudaş Turkey

Age: 43

Olympic Country: Turkey

Date Of Birth: 1975-08-23

Place Of Birth: Erzincan Province, Turkey

Olympic Sport: Weightlifting

Weight: 105

Olympic Games Participant: 2008 Summer Olympics

Bünyamin Sudaş (born August 23, 1975), aka Bünyami Sudaş, is a Turkish weightlifter competing in the 105 kg division. Bünyamin Sudaş is 1.76 m (5.8 ft) tall and weighs 104 kg (229 ...more
14
Waldemar Baszanowski is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
Алпан Балкыш added Waldemar Baszanowski

Age: Dec. at 76 (1935-2011)

Date Of Birth: 1935-08-15

Olympic Medalist Event Competition: Weightlifting at the 1964 summer Olympics - Men's Lightweight 60-67.5 kg, Weightlifting at the 1968 summer Olympics - Men's Lightweight 60-67.5 kg

Olympic Medalist Event: Men's Weightlifting, Lightweight 60-67.5kg

Olympic Medalist Games: 1964 Summer Olympics, 1968 Summer Olympics

Olympic Medals Won: Gold medal

Waldemar Romuald Baszanowski (15 August 1935 – 29 April 2011) was a Polish lightweight (-67.5 kg) weightlifter. In 1969, he was chosen the Polish Sportspersonality of the Year.
15
Paul Anderson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
Алпан Балкыш added United States of America

Age: Dec. at 62 (1932-1994)

Date Of Birth: 1932-10-17

Place Of Birth: Toccoa, United States of America, Georgia, Stephens County

Olympic Medalist Event Competition: Weightlifting at the 1956 Summer Olympics - Men's Heavyweight +90 kg

Olympic Medalist Event: Men's Weightlifting, Heavyweight +90

Olympic Medalist Games: 1956 Summer Olympics

Olympic Medals Won: Gold medal

Paul Edward Anderson (October 17, 1932 – August 15, 1994) was an American weightlifter, strongman and powerlifter. He was an Olympic gold medalist, a world champion and a two-time national ...more
16
Zhou Lulu is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
Алпан Балкыш added Zhou Lulu China

Age: 30

Olympic Country: China

Date Of Birth: 1988-03-19

Place Of Birth: Yantai, China

Olympic Sport: Weightlifting

Olympic Medalist Event Competition: Weightlifting at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Women's +75 kg

Weight: 131

Olympic Medalist Event: Women's Weightlifting, + 75kg

Olympic Medalist Games: The London 2012 Summer Olympics

Olympic Games Participant: The London 2012 Summer Olympics

Olympic Medals Won: Gold medal

Zhou Lulu is a Chinese weightlifter. On November 13th, 2011, she won the gold medal in the women's super heavyweight category and set an aggregate world record of 328 kg in the snatch and clean ...more
17
Dmitry Berestov is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
elferkojanez added Russia

Age: 38

Date Of Birth: 1980-06-13

Place Of Birth: Moscow, Russia, Soviet Union, Europe, Asia, + more

Olympic Medalist Event Competition: Weightlifting at the 2004 Summer Olympics - Men's Heavyweight 94 - 105 kg

Olympic Medalist Event: Men's Weightlifting, Heavyweight 94 - 105 kg

Olympic Medalist Games: 2004 Summer Olympics

Olympic Medals Won: Gold medal

Dmitry Vladimirovitch Berestov (Russian: Дмитрий Владимирович Берестов; born June 13, 1980 in Moscow) is a Russian weightlifter who won the gold medal in the 105 kg class at the 2004 Summer ...more
18
Aleksandr Kurlovich is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
elferkojanez added Aleksandr Kurlovich Soviet Union

Olympic Country: Soviet Union

Date Of Birth: 1961-7-28

19
Andrei Chemerkin is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
elferkojanez added Russia

Age: 47

Date Of Birth: 1972-02-17

Place Of Birth: Solnechnogorsk, Russia, Moscow Oblast, Europe, Asia, + more

Olympic Medalist Event Competition: Weightlifting at the 1996 Summer Olympics - Men's Super Heavyweight +108 kg

Olympic Medalist Event: Men's Weightlifting, Super Heavyweight +108

Olympic Medalist Games: 1996 Summer Olympics

Olympic Medals Won: Gold medal

Andrey Ivanovich Chemerkin (Russian: Андрей Иванович Чемеркин, born February 17, 1972) is a former Russian weightlifter. Chemerkin was a gold medalist at the 1996 Summer Olympics, and a bronze ...more
20
Charles Vinci is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
Алпан Балкыш added United States of America

Age: 86

Date Of Birth: 1933-02-28

Place Of Birth: Cleveland, United States of America, Ohio, Cuyahoga County, Bay Village

Olympic Medalist Event Competition: Weightlifting at the 1960 Summer Olympics - Men's Bantamweight -56 kg, Weightlifting at the 1956 Summer Olympics - Men's Bantamweight -56 kg

Olympic Medalist Event: Men's Weightlifting, Bantamweight -56kg

Olympic Medalist Games: 1960 Summer Olympics, 1956 Summer Olympics

Olympic Medals Won: Gold medal

Charles Thomas Vinci Jr. (February 28, 1933 – June 13, 2018) was an American weightlifter and Olympic champion. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Vinci was the United States Senior National Champion from ...more
21
Anatoly Khrapaty is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
elferkojanez added

Age: Dec. at 46 (1962-2008)

Date Of Birth: 1962-10-20

Olympic Medalist Event Competition: Weightlifting at the 1988 Summer olympics - Men's Middle Heavyweight 82.5-90 kg, Weightlifting at the 1996 Summer Olympics - Men's First Heavyweight 91-99 kg

Olympic Medalist Event: Men's Weightlifting, Middle Heavyweight 82.5-90 kg, Men's Weightlifting, First Heavyweight 91-99kg

Olympic Medalist Games: 1988 Summer Olympics, 1996 Summer Olympics

Olympic Medals Won: Gold medal, Silver medal

Anatoly Mikhaylovich Khrapaty (also Chrapaty, Russian: Анатолий Михайлович Храпатый; 20 October 1962 – 11 August 2008) was a heavyweight weightlifter, Olympic Champion, and five time World ...more
22
Rudolf Mang is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
elferkojanez added Rudolf Mang Germany

Age: 68

Date Of Birth: 1950-06-17

Place Of Birth: Bellenberg, Germany, Bavaria, Europe, Western Europe, + more

Olympic Medalist Event Competition: Weightlifting at the 1972 Summer Olympics - Men's Super Heavyweight +110 kg

Olympic Medalist Event: Men's Weightlifting, Super Heavyweight +110

Olympic Medalist Games: 1972 Summer Olympics

Olympic Medals Won: Silver medal

Rudolf Mang is a German former weightlifter who competed in the 1968 Summer Olympics and in the 1972 Summer Olympics.
23
Alfred Neuland is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
Estonia

Age: Dec. at 71 (1895-1966)

Olympic Country: Estonia

Date Of Birth: 1895-10-10

Place Of Birth: Walk, Livonia, Latvia, Earth, Europe, + more

Olympic Sport: Weightlifting

Olympic Medalist Event Competition: Weightlifting at the 1920 Summer Olympics - Men's Lightweight 60-67.5 kg, Weightlifting at the 1924 Summer Olympics -Men's Middleweight 67.5-75 kg

Olympic Medalist Event: Men's Weightlifting, Lightweight 60-67.5kg, Men's Weightlifting, Middleweight 67.5-75kg

Olympic Medalist Games: 1920 Summer Olympics, 1924 Summer Olympics

Olympic Games Participant: 1920 Summer Olympics

Olympic Medals Won: Gold medal, Silver medal

Alfred Karl Neuland (10 October 1895 – 16 November 1966) was an Estonian weightlifter. He competed in the 1920 and 1924 Olympics and won a gold and a silver medal, respectively, becoming the ...more
24
Lidia Valentín is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
elferkojanez added Lidia Valentín Spain

Age: 34

Olympic Country: Spain

Date Of Birth: 1985-02-10

Place Of Birth: Ponferrada, Spain

Olympic Sport: Weightlifting

Weight: 74

Olympic Games Participant: The London 2012 Summer Olympics

Lidia Valentín Pérez (born 10 February 1985) is a Spanish weightlifter, Olympic Champion, 2 time World Champion and 4 time European Champion competing in the 75 kg category until ...more
25
Milen Dobrev is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting
elferkojanez added Milen Dobrev Bulgaria

Age: 39

Date Of Birth: 1980-02-22

Olympic Medalist Event Competition: Weightlifting at the 2004 Summer Olympics - Men's Middle-Heavyweight 85-94 kg

Olympic Medalist Event: Men's Weightlifting, Middle Heavyweight 85-94 kg

Olympic Medalist Games: 2004 Summer Olympics

Olympic Medals Won: Gold medal

Milen Dobrev (Bulgarian: Милен Добрев, February 22, 1980 — March 21, 2015) was a Bulgarian weightlifter. He became Olympic champion in 2004 in the middle heavyweight class. That same year, he ...more