When many people think of Olympic weightlifting records, they think back to the mid-1970s when the gargantuan Soviet strongman Vasily Alexeev dominated all competition in the super heavyweight division for a decade. Soviet lifters ruled the sport until the dissolution of the USSR. Since then, there has been a much greater balance in Olympic weightlifting with various countries represented on the list of Olympic medals and of world and Olympic records.
- Hossein Rezazadeh Nicknamed “The Iranian Hercules,” Rezazadeh currently holds the super heavyweight class Olympic weightlifting records for the snatch, clean and jerk, and total combined (snatch plus clean and jerk). He is the first Iranian athlete to have ever won two Olympic gold medals. His Olympic-record snatch lift occurred at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and is still standing today with a lift of 212 kg. His record total lift, also from Sydney, is 472 kg, a a bit over 1,040 pounds. He also holds the current Olympic weightlifting record for super heavies in the clean and jerk with a lift of 262 kg at the 2004 games in Athens. This 350-pound giant is now retired, so any future Olympic records in his class will be set by someone else.
- Andrei Aramnau At only 23 years old, Aramnau is already an Olympic weightlifting record holder in the heavyweight division. He holds records in all three modern lifting disciplines (snatch, clean and jerk and total) and set them all at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. His records are a snatch of 200 kg (the first heavyweight lifter to ever reach the magic 200 kg barrier), a clean and jerk of 236 kg and a total of 436 kg.
- Taner Sagir This Turkish phenom was only nineteen and held all junior records coming into the 2004 Athens games. Lifting as a middleweight (77 kg class), Segir won the gold and set records in all three categories. His record lifts for the snatch (172 kg) and total (375 kg) still stand today.
- Halil Mutlu Mutlu was a 56 kg (approximately 123 pounds) tiny dynamo who lifted for Turkey. His career was illustrious as he is one of only four weightlifters to ever win gold in three consecutive Olympic Games. He also won five World championships, nine European championships and set more than twenty world records. He still holds all three Olympic records for weightlifting in the 53 kg class with lifts of 137 kg for the snatch, 167 for the clean and jerk and a total of 304 kg. All these were set at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
- Jang Mi-Ran Yes, they have women’s weightlifting in the Olympics and the current top female lifter is Jang Mi-Ran of South Korea. She won a silver medal in Athens in 2004, but won gold in 2008 at the Beijing games. There, she set all current Olympic records for female weightlifting in the top 75 kg and over class (165 pounds) with lifts of 140 kg in the snatch, 186 kg in the clean and jerk and a total combined of 326 kg. Guys, that total is close to 720 pounds. You think you can do better?