Tommy Kono performing winning Olympic lifts (1958)

In this video footage from the 1958 World Weightlifting Championships in Stockholm, Sweden, posted on the “John Phung” Youtube channel, Tommy Kono of Sacramento, CA, USA performed winning Olympic-style lifts including a world-record snatch of 133.5 kg (294.3 lbs), taking home the top prize in the middleweight division.

By this time, Kono had also established himself as a physique champion with one Mr. World and two Mr. Universe titles in addition to his weightlifting awards.

Who says strength and physique aren’t compatible, and that bodybuilders’ muscles are just for show and don’t have any real strength or power? In the old days, there was more overlap and camaraderie among different disciplines of strength sport and weight training, a different atmosphere from the narrower tendency toward exclusivist specialization that we often see among different modalities of physical fitness today.

Further reading on Tommy Kono from the Lift Up project on Olympic weightlifting history (opens in new window/tab):


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s