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The Best Olympic Athletes in Weightlifting

Updated May 25, 2020 6.6k votes 1.2k voters 23.3k 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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    Naim Süleymanoğlu

    Turkey, Bulgaria
    649
    147

    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
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    Halil Mutlu

    Turkey
    432
    170

    Age48

    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
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    Lasha Talakhadze

    Georgian
    291
    130

    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). 

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    Pyrros Dimas

    Greece
    262
    133

    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
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    Vasiliy Alekseyev

    Russia, Soviet Union
    85
    50

    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
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    Nurcan Taylan

    Turkey
    94
    60

    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
  • 7
    63
    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
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    Kakhi Kakhiashvili

    103
    73
    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
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    Matthias Steiner

    Germany, Austria
    68
    42

    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
  • 10
    90
    73

    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
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    Aleksandr Kurlovich

    Soviet Union
    30
    9

    Olympic CountrySoviet Union

    Date Of Birth1961-7-28

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    Leonid Zhabotinsky

    60
    45
    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
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    Hossein Reza Zadeh

    93
    81
    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
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    Ilya Ilyin

    Kazakhstan
    83
    70

    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
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    Milen Dobrev

    Bulgaria
    29
    12

    Age40

    Date Of Birth1980-02-22

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

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

    Olympic Medalist Games2004 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonGold 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 won the...  more
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    Bünyamin Sudaş

    Turkey
    76
    66

    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
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    Waldemar Baszanowski

    43
    30
    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
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    Andrei Chemerkin

    Russia
    24
    9

    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
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    Dmitry Berestov

    Russia
    24
    9

    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
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    Kim Un-guk

    North Korea
    24
    9

    Age31

    Olympic CountryNorth Korea

    Date Of Birth1988-10-28

    Place Of BirthPyongyang, Pyongan, North Korea

    Olympic SportWeightlifting

    Olympic Medalist Event CompetitionWeightlifting at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Men's 62 kg

    Weight62

    Olympic Medalist EventMen's Weightlifting, Featherweight 56-62 kg

    Olympic Medalist GamesThe London 2012 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Games ParticipantThe London 2012 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonGold medal

    Kim Un-guk (Korean: 김은국; Korean pronunciation: [kim.ɯm.ɡuk̚]; born 28 October 1988) is a North Korean weightlifter, Olympic Champion, and two time World Champion. He is also a Labor Hero and People's...  more
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    Adrian Zieliński

    Poland
    24
    10

    Age31

    Olympic CountryPoland

    Date Of Birth1989-03-28

    Place Of BirthNakło nad Notecią, Poland

    Olympic SportWeightlifting

    Olympic Medalist Event CompetitionWeightlifting at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Men's 85 kg

    Weight85

    Olympic Medalist EventMen's Weightlifting, Light Heavyweight 77-85 kg

    Olympic Medalist GamesThe London 2012 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Games ParticipantThe London 2012 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonGold medal

    Adrian Edward Zieliński (Polish pronunciation: [ˈadrjan ˈɛdvard ʑɛˈliɲski]; born March 28, 1989) is a Polish weightlifter. He is the 2012 Olympic champion in the men's 85 kg category....  more
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    Paul Anderson

    United States of America
    52
    45

    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
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    Anatoly Khrapaty

    20
    10
    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 Champion...  more
  • 24

    Age34

    Olympic CountryUkraine

    Date Of Birth1986-05-22

    Place Of BirthDonetsk, Ukraine

    Olympic SportWeightlifting

    Olympic Medalist Event CompetitionWeightlifting at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Men's 105 kg

    Weight104

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

    Olympic Medalist GamesThe London 2012 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Games ParticipantThe London 2012 Summer Olympics, 2008 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonGold medal

    Oleksiy Torokhtiy is a Ukrainian weightlifter. He won the gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the men's 105 kg category with a total of 412 kg. He finished in 11th place at the 2008 Olympics....  more
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    Charles Vinci

    United States of America
    33
    29

    Age87

    Date Of Birth1933-02-28

    Place Of BirthCleveland,United States of America,Ohio,Cuyahoga County,Bay Village

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

    Olympic Medalist EventMen's Weightlifting, Bantamweight -56kg

    Olympic Medalist Games1960 Summer Olympics,1956 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonGold 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 1954...  more