March 12th, 2017

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Team USA Weightlifting (1948)


The Lift Up: History in Color series continues with the cover photo featuring 1948 Team USA Weightlifting in front of the ship with the all  other U.S. Olympians. They are about to depart overseas for  the 1948 Summer Olympics in London. This is the first Olympics to be held after the end of the World War II.

Top row (left to right):

Peter George (67.5kg, A.C.M.W.L. Akron), Norbert Schemansky (82.5+kg, Yaco’s Gym, Detroit, MI), Dietrich Wortmann, Emerich Ishikawa (60kg, York Barbell Club, York, PA), Harold Sakata (82.5kg, Nuuanu YMCA, Honolulu, HI), Stan Stanczyk (82.5kg, York Barbell Club, York, PA), Frank Spellman (75kg, York Barbell Club, York, PA), John Davis (82.5+kg, York Barbell Club, York, PA).

Front row (left to right):

Joe Pitman (67.5kg, York Barbell Club, York, PA), Richard Tom (56kg, Nuuanu YMCA, Honolulu, HI), Joe DiPietro (56kg, Bates Barbell Club), Richard Tomita (60kg, Nuuanu YMCA, Honolulu, HI), John Terpak (75kg, York Barbell Club, York, PA)

The results of this  historical tournament can be viewed here.

In London, Team USA Weightlifting had a solid performance and won the 1st place with Team Egypt on the 2nd place and Team Great Britain on the third place.

The U.S. Olympians brought home plenty of memories and silverware:

  • Gold medals (4):

    Joe DiPietro, Frank Spellman, Stan Stanczyk and John Davis;

  • Silver medals (2):

    Peter George, Harold Sakata and Norb Schemansky;

  • Bronze medals (1)

    Richard Tom

  • John Terpak (4th), Emerick Ishikawa (6th), Joe Pitman (8th), Richard Tomita (9th)



Summer Olympics From 1896 To Today

Summer Olympics1948 Summer Olympics
Location: London, GBRGOLD MEDALISTS</p>
Weight Class Name Total (kg)
56 Bantamweight Joseph DI PIETRO, United States 105OR+90+112.5 = 307.5WR
60 Featherweight Mahmoud FAYAD, Egypt 92.5+105WR+135WR = 332.5WR
67.5 Lightweight Ibrahim Hassan SHAMS, Egypt 97.5+115OR+147.5OR = 360OR
75 Middleweight Frank SPELLMAN, United States 117.5+120+152.5 = 390OR
82.5 Light Heavyweight Stanley STANCZYK, United States 130OR+130OR+157.5OR = 417.5OR
82.5+ Super Heavyweight John DAVIS, United States 137.5OR+137.5+177.5WR = 452.5OR

Note: To view a complete list of the winners in the weight classes above,

please follow the link associated with the weight class.


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Red Army: Olympic Weightlifting


The Lift Up: History in Color series continues…

This time enhanced photo features the Read Army members of Team CCCP Weightlifting training for the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne.

Trofim Lomaking is working on his split style snatch lift. In the back, coach Alexander Bozhko and bantamweight athlete Vladimir Stogov are watching Lomakin’s lifts.

Lomakin had a tremendous strength and physique given to him by nature. By many accounts, he lived almost a double life back then – an elite Olympic weightlifter by daytime and a heavy drinker and party goer by nighttime.

It’s amazing how with such lifestyle, Lomakin managed to be on top level in 3 Olympic cycles – 1952, 1956 and 1960!