Frank Spellman, 1948 Olympic Weightlifting Champion, died on Thursday at the age of 94. Spellman was the oldest living Gold medalist in the United States.
“When I was four years old, my parents took me out to a state fair,” Spellman told USA Weightlifting in 2012. “There, I saw a guy doing handstands and balancing and it just lit me up right away. One day in college a fellow came in and I noticed he had a terrific physique. So we started talking and I said, ‘I couldn’t help but notice your physique, what did you do to get that?’ He said, ‘Weightlifting.’
He started training toward an Olympic dream. He won silver in the 1947 World Championships.
In 1948, Spellman travelled to London to represent the United States at the Games of the XIV Olympiad. Spellman secured the Gold Medal in the middleweight category by successfully completing three lifts in each the snatch, clean & jerk and military press. He set an Olympic Record with a total weight of 390kg, edging out his American teammate Pete George by 7-and-a-half kilograms.
A member of numerous Halls-of-Fame throughout the world (including USA Weightlifting’s), Spellman is remembered as a charismatic athlete with the strength and stamina of an Olympic Champion.
It is with deep sorrow that the IWF presents its condolences to his Family.
Source: Phil Andrews, USA Weightlifting