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The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting

Updated May 25, 2020 6.4k votes 1.2k voters 22.8k 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.

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  • 1
    651
    142

    Naim Süleymanoğlu

    Turkey, Bulgaria

    Age53

    Date Of Birth1967-01-23

    Place Of BirthBulgaria,Earth,Europe,European Union,Eastern Europe

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

    Olympic Medalist Games1992 Summer Olympics,1988 Summer Olympics,1996 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonGold 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 his small...  more
  • 2
    437
    167

    Age47

    Date Of Birth1973-07-14

    Place Of BirthBulgaria,Earth,Europe,European Union,Eastern Europe

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

    Olympic Medalist EventMen's Weightlifting, Bantamweight -56kg

    Olympic Medalist Games2004 Summer Olympics,2000 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonGold 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 the...  more
  • 3
    271
    132

    Lasha Talakhadze

    Georgian

    Age25

    Olympic CountryGeorgia

    Date Of Birth1993

    Place Of BirthSachkhere, Georgia

    Olympic SportWeightlifting

    Weight105+

    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
    261
    133

    Pyrros Dimas

    Greece

    Age48

    Date Of Birth1971-10-13

    Place Of BirthHimarë,Albania,Vlorë District,Vlorë County,Earth

    Olympic Medalist Event CompetitionWeightlifting 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 EventMen's Weightlifting, Light Heavyweight 75-82.5kg,Men's Weightlifting, Light Heavyweight 76- 83 kg,Men's Weightlifting

    Olympic Medalist Games1992 Summer Olympics,1996 Summer Olympics,2004 Summer Olympics,2000 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonGold 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 that...  more
  • 5
    95
    54

    Age36

    Date Of Birth1983-10-29

    Place Of BirthAnkara,Turkey,Ankara Province,Europe,Asia

    Olympic Medalist Event CompetitionWeightlifting at the 2004 Summer Olympics - Women's 48 kg

    Olympic Medalist EventWomen's Weightlifting, 48kg

    Olympic Medalist Games2004 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonGold 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
  • 6
    85
    49

    Vasiliy Alekseyev

    Russia, Soviet Union

    AgeDec. at 69 (1942-2011)

    Date Of Birth1942-01-07

    Place Of BirthRyazan Oblast,Russia,Europe,Asia,North Eurasia

    Olympic Medalist Event CompetitionWeightlifting 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 EventMen's Weightlifting, Super Heavyweight +110

    Olympic Medalist Games1976 Summer Olympics,1972 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonGold 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 won...  more
  • 7
    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 only...  more
  • 8
    54
    30

    Age35

    Olympic CountryChina

    Date Of Birth1985-01-29

    Place Of BirthYantai,China,Shandong,Earth,Asia

    Olympic SportWeightlifting

    Olympic Medalist Event CompetitionWeightlifting at the 2008 Summer Olympics - Women's 69 kg,Weightlifting at the 2004 Summer Olympics - Women's 69 kg

    Olympic Medalist EventWomen's Weightlifting, 69kg

    Olympic Medalist Games2008 Summer Olympics,2004 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Games Participant2004 Summer Olympics,2008 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonGold medal

    Liu Chunhong (simplified Chinese: 刘春红; traditional Chinese: 劉春紅; pinyin: Liú Chūnhóng; born January 29, 1983 in Yantai, Shandong) is a Chinese weightlifter....  more
  • 9
    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
  • 10
    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 won...  more
  • 11
    62
    44

    Matthias Steiner

    Germany, Austria

    Age38

    Olympic CountryGermany

    Date Of Birth1982-08-25

    Place Of BirthVienna,Austria,Earth,Europe,Western Europe

    Olympic SportWeightlifting

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

    Olympic Medalist EventMen's Weightlifting, Super Heavyweight + 105kg

    Olympic Medalist Games2008 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Games Participant2008 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonGold 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 2005,...  more
  • 12
    88
    74

    Age38

    Olympic CountryRussia

    Date Of Birth1983-02-18

    Place Of BirthBalashikha,Russia,Moscow Oblast,Europe,Asia

    Olympic SportWeightlifting

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

    Olympic Medalist EventMen's Weightlifting, Heavyweight 94 - 105 kg

    Olympic Medalist Games2008 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Games Participant2008 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonSilver 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....  more
  • 13
    86
    71

    Ilya Ilyin

    Kazakhstan

    Age32

    Olympic CountryKazakhstan

    Date Of Birth1988-05-24

    Place Of BirthKyzylorda, Kazakhstan

    Olympic SportWeightlifting

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

    Weight94

    Olympic Medalist EventMen's Weightlifting, Middle Heavyweight 85-94 kg

    Olympic Medalist GamesThe London 2012 Summer Olympics, 2008 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Games ParticipantThe London 2012 Summer Olympics, 2008 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonGold 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 and...  more
  • 14
    28
    8

    Aleksandr Kurlovich

    Soviet Union

    Olympic CountrySoviet Union

    Date Of Birth1961-7-28

  • 15

    Age45

    Olympic CountryLatvia

    Date Of Birth1974-10-06

    Olympic SportWeightlifting

    Olympic Medalist Event CompetitionWeightlifting at the 2008 Summer Olympics - Men's Super Heavyweight +105 kg,Weightlifting at the 2004 Summer Olympics - Men's Super Heavyweight +105 kg

    Olympic Medalist EventMen's Weightlifting, Super Heavyweight + 105kg

    Olympic Medalist Games2008 Summer Olympics,2004 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Games Participant2004 Summer Olympics,2008 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonBronze medal,Silver medal

    Viktors Ščerbatihs (born 6 October 1974, in Dobele) is a former Latvian weightlifter and politician and a three-time Olympian for his native country. He is 181 cm tall. In the 2004 Summer Olympics,...  more
  • 16
    78
    64

    Bünyamin Sudaş

    Turkey

    Age45

    Olympic CountryTurkey

    Date Of Birth1975-08-23

    Place Of BirthErzincan Province, Turkey

    Olympic SportWeightlifting

    Weight105

    Olympic Games Participant2008 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 lb). He is a member...  more
  • 17
    33
    16

    AgeDec. at 74 (1898-1972)

    Olympic CountryEstonia

    Date Of Birth1898-05-01

    Place Of BirthRiisipere,Harju County,Nissi Commune,Estonia,Helsinki-Tallin Euregio

    Olympic SportWeightlifting

    Olympic Medalist Event CompetitionWeightlifting at the 1920 Summer Olympics - Men's Featherweight 60 kg

    Olympic Medalist EventMen's Weightlifting, featherweight -60

    Olympic Medalist Games1920 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Games Participant1920 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonSilver medal

    Alfred Schmidt (from 1936 Ain Sillak, 1 May 1898 – 5 November 1972) was an Estonian featherweight weightlifter who won a silver medal at the 1920 Summer Olympics.Schmidt first trained in...  more
  • 18
    46
    31

    Waldemar Baszanowski

    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....  more
  • 19
    36
    22

    Age34

    Olympic CountryRussia

    Date Of Birth1986-03-14

    Place Of BirthKrasnodar Krai,Russia,Europe,Asia,North Eurasia

    Olympic SportWeightlifting

    Olympic Medalist Event CompetitionWeightlifting at the 2008 Summer Olympics – Women's 58 kg

    Olympic Medalist EventWomen's Weightlifting, 58kg

    Olympic Medalist Games2008 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Games Participant2008 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonSilver medal

    Marina Vladimirovna Shainova (Russian: Марина Владимировна Шаинова; born 14 March 1986 in Krasnodar Krai) is a Russian weightlifter....  more
  • 20
    56
    46

    Paul Anderson

    United States of America

    AgeDec. at 62 (1932-1994)

    Date Of Birth1932-10-17

    Place Of BirthToccoa,United States of America,Georgia,Stephens County

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

    Olympic Medalist EventMen's Weightlifting, Heavyweight +90

    Olympic Medalist Games1956 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonGold 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 champion...  more
  • 21

    Age40

    Date Of Birth1980-06-13

    Place Of BirthMoscow,Russia,Soviet Union,Europe,Asia

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

    Olympic Medalist EventMen's Weightlifting, Heavyweight 94 - 105 kg

    Olympic Medalist Games2004 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonGold 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 Olympics....  more
  • 22

    Age48

    Date Of Birth1972-02-17

    Place Of BirthSolnechnogorsk,Russia,Moscow Oblast,Europe,Asia

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

    Olympic Medalist EventMen's Weightlifting, Super Heavyweight +108

    Olympic Medalist Games1996 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonGold 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
  • 23
    36
    24

    Natalie Woolfolk

    United States of America

    Age36

    Olympic CountryUnited States of America

    Date Of Birth1983-11-07

    Place Of BirthArnold,United States of America,Maryland,Anne Arundel County

    Olympic SportWeightlifting

    Olympic Games Participant2008 Summer Olympics

    Natalie Burgener is a U.S. weightlifter. She is a multiple-time American record-holder, a four-time national weightlifting champion, and a resident athlete of the U.S. Olympic Training Center in...  more
  • 24

    Age35

    Olympic CountryCanada

    Date Of Birth1985-01-03

    Place Of BirthElliot Lake, Canada

    Olympic SportWeightlifting

    Olympic Medalist Event CompetitionWeightlifting at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Women's 63 kg

    Weight63

    Olympic Medalist EventWomen's Weightlifting, 63kg

    Olympic Medalist GamesThe London 2012 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Games ParticipantThe London 2012 Summer Olympics, 2008 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonBronze medal

    Christine Girard (born January 3, 1985) is a Canadian weightlifter from White Rock, British Columbia. She competes in the 63 kg division. Girard was the first Canadian female to win a medal in...  more
  • 25
    26
    16

    Age41

    Olympic CountryChina

    Date Of Birth1979-04-05

    Place Of BirthSuzhou,China,Anhui,Jiangsu,Earth

    Olympic SportWeightlifting

    Olympic Medalist Event CompetitionWeightlifting at the 2008 Summer Olympics – Women's 58 kg

    Olympic Medalist EventWomen's Weightlifting, 58kg

    Olympic Medalist Games2008 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Games Participant2008 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonGold medal

    Chen Yanqing (simplified Chinese: 陈艳青; traditional Chinese: 陳艷青; pinyin: Chén Yànqīng; born April 5, 1979 in Suzhou, Jiangsu) is a Chinese weightlifter who competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics and...  more