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Isaac Berger

(1936 - )

Isaac ("Ike") Berger was an Olympic weightlifter for the United States. He holds 23 world weightlifting records and 12 United States national weightlifting titles. The son of a rabbi, Berger, a featherweight, not only lifted more than 800 pounds but also pressed double his body weight.

Berger competed in three consecutive Summer Olympics. In the Featherweight class at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, Berger won the gold medal with a world-record lift of 776.5 pounds. Four years later, he took silver at the Rome Olympiad for 798.75 pounds. And in 1964 at the Tokyo Games, he again won silver at 841.5 pounds. His 1964 Olympic record of 336 pounds in the jerk, at a bodyweight of 130 pounds, made him pound-for-pound the strongest man in the world, a record that stood for nine years. Competing in the Fifth Maccabiah Games in 1957, the year after winning his Olympic gold medal, Berger became the first athlete to set a world record in the State of Israel, pressing 258 pounds in Featherweight competition. In 1965, Berger was elected to the United States Weightlifters Hall of Fame, and in 1980 he was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Sources: Jews In Sports; Wikipedia