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Harold Laurance

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameHarold Edward Kirby•Laurance
Used nameHarold•Laurance
Born1 July 1915 in Yardley Hastings, Northamptonshire, England (GBR)
Died17 January 2004 in Kettering, Northamptonshire, England (GBR)
Measurements75 kg
NOC Great Britain

Biography

Harold Laurance started weightlifting in a barn on his father’s farm when he was a teenager, and at the age of 14 joined Northampton’s only weight training club. He soon progressed competitively, and in 1934 won the Midland middleweight title. Laurance then won the British under-21 title and was third in the senior Championships. That same year, he also won the “Britain’s Strongest Youth” title. He captured the senior British title in 1936 and, despite equalling his own British record at the Berlin Olympics, was not amongst the medals and finished 12th. Laurance missed the Olympic closing ceremony after returning home early following receipt of a postcard from his parents requesting help on the family farm.

After the Olympics, Laurance turned to giving weightlifting exhibitions and demonstrations. Also, because of his physique, he was used to advertise Cow & Gate baby food. He also developed the “Laurance Stimulator”, which helped with bodybuilding and which he sold by advertising extensively in newspapers, and strength and health magazines. During the War, however, and in the years immediately following it, people had no spare money for such a luxury and he diversified and concentrated on developing his food empire, and became a supplier of frozen chickens to, amongst others, the luxury London food store Fortnum & Mason, in the day when frozen chicken was a luxury item.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1936 Summer Olympics Weightlifting GBR Harold Laurance
Middleweight, Men (Olympic) 12