Sports > Weightlifting > THANK YOU REZAZADEH, YOU ARE THE STRONGEST BY AFSHIN DASTAFSHAN
Thank you Rezazadeh for what you have done for Iran
The city of Ardebil in North Western Iran has produced a number of heroes for the country breaking world records in their respective fields; the +105 KG weightlifter better known as the Iranian Hercules Hossein Rezazadeh is one of them. On 24th July 2008 with only days left to his third Olympics appearance in Beijing the four-time heavyweight world champion pulled out of the 2008 Games due to hand injuries. On the eve of Beijing 2008 Olympics we’ll look back at Rezazadeh’s achievements and wish his replacement Rashid Sharifi all the best in the Olympics.
Born on May 12, 1978 Hossein Rezazadeh holds the world records in weightlifting's super heavyweight class in the snatch, clean and jerk and total. He is the first Iranian athlete to have won two Olympic gold medals (Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004).
In Sydney 2000 at the age of 22 the Iranian Hercules in the making entered the arena, he was competing for the +105kg (heaviest) Weight Lifting category. The unknown Iranian with the slogan of “Yaa Abolfazl” went on to lift 468 1/4 pounds (212.5 kg) in the snatch category (you have to lift the weight at once) and smashed the world record made few minutes earlier. Then in clean and jerk category (you have to first put weight below your neck and then raise it above you) Rezazadeh lifted 573 pounds (260 kg) on a single lift to break another World Record of Overall Weight Lifted 1,025 1/4 pounds (465 kg). He won the Olympic super heavyweight gold in Sydney 2000. Rezadeh’s gold medal was the first since 1960 by a non-Soviet or non-Russian athlete in the over 105 kg class at a non boycotted Games.
His next achievement came in the World Weight Lifting Championships in 2002, there he broke World Record of Total Weight lifted by lifting 472.5kg. He outclassed all of competitors in both clean and jerk, snatch categories to win 3 gold medals and becoming World Heavy Weight Lifting Champion.
Rezazadeh was then approached by Turkey’s Weightlifting Federation and offered the sum of US$20,000 a month, as well as a luxury villa and US$10 million reward if he would take Turkish citizenship and win gold for Turkey at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Rezazadeh rejected the tempting offer saying, 'I am an Iranian and love my country and people.
In 2003 World Weight Lifting Championships held in Canada, he had leg injury but still managed to win the Gold Medal in Snatch, bronze medal in clean and jerk and Gold in combined weight lifted and retained the Championship Title.
Rezazadeh has since broken his own records on a number of occasions leading up to his world record 263.5 kg (580.9 pounds) lift in the clean and jerk at the 2004 Summer Olympics. His total (both lifts combined) at the 2004 Summer Olympics of 472.5 kg was 17.5 kg more than silver medalist Viktors Scerbatihs. He is the current IWF World Weightlifter of the Year, and was shortlisted for weightlifter of the century.
Below a summary of Rezazadeh’s achievements, on behalf of Iranians world-wide I would like to thank Rezazadeh for what he has done for us:
Gold 2000 Sydney + 105 kg
Gold 2004 Athens + 105 kg
Gold 2002 Warsaw + 105 kg
Gold 2003 Vancouver + 105 kg
Gold 2005 Doha + 105 kg
Gold 2006 Santa Domingo + 105 kg
Bronze 1999 Athens + 105 kg
Gold 2002 Busan + 105 kg
Gold 2006 Doha + 105 kg
Bronze 1998 Bangkok + 105 kg
Gold 1999 Wuhan + 105 kg
Gold 2003 Qinhuangdao + 105 kg
Gold 2005 Dubai + 105 kg