October 6th, 2021

close up

Got Biceps? Phil Grippaldi Turned 75!


History in Color:

September 27, 2021 – One of the most talented and popular U.S. Olympic weightlifters in the 1970s, 3x Olympian, Phil Grippaldi turned 75!


Phil Grippaldi competed in the 90kg weight class and had an impressive look of a bodybuilder and strength of an Olympic weightlifter. Grippaldi grew up in New Jersey. When he was a kid, he was introduced into bodybuilding routines by one of his neighbors. At 16, little Phil was 5’5″ and had a 19″ biceps.


Grippaldi’s coaches in weightlifting were Butch Toth of the Keasbey Eagles weightlifting club and Michael Huszka of the Magnificent Seven (legendary Team Hungary Weightlifting of 1960s)


Phil Grippaldi managed to win 6 titles at the USA National championships (1967, 1968, 1970, 1973, 1974, 1977), won 3 Pan American Games (1967, 1971, 1975) and competed for Team USA Weightlifting at three Olympics. He took the 7th place in Mexico City in 1968 and the 4th place in Munich in 1972.


Happy Birthday, Champ!

close up

Legendary Hans Zdrazila is 80!


October 3, 2021 – Legend of Czech and world weightlifting, Olympic champion Hans Zdrazila turned 80!


Hans Zdrazila (born in 1941) of Ostrava, Czech Republic was one of the best middleweight and light heavyweight athletes in the world in the 1960s. He was the first weightlifter of Czechoslovakia to become an Olympic champion. It happened on October 14, 1964, when a 23-year old middleweight Hans Zdrazila won a gold medal at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.


In his native Czechoslovakia, Zdrazila competed in the 75kg and 82.5kg weight classes and won 10 national titles (1960-1964, 1966-1968, 1970-1971).


On the international arena, Hans Zdrazila was selected to compete in the national team from 1960 to 1972. He was a 2x Olympian and represented Czechoslovakia at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo (1964, gold medal in the 75kg class) and in Mexico City (1968, 6th place in the 82.5kg class). Besides his remarkable performance at the Olympics, Zdrazila won a gold (1964) and 2 bronze (1963, 1966) medals at the World Championships and 2 silver (1964, 1965) and 2 bronze (1963, 1966) medals at the European Championships.


Happy Birthday, Champion!