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Rodney Wilkes

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 1
Total 2
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameRodney Adolphus•Wilkes
Used nameRodney•Wilkes
Nick/petnamesMighty Atom, Mighty Midget
Born11 March 1925 in San Fernando (TTO)
Died24 March 2014 in San Fernando (TTO)
Measurements59, 60 kg
NOC(s) Trinidad and Tobago

Biography

Rodney Wilkes was Trinidad’s first Olympic medal winner, in 1948, and with his silver and bronze medals in weightlifting from the 1948 and 1952 Olympics, he is still considered the greatest weightlifter ever from the island nation. Wilkes was nicknamed the “Mighty Midget” or “Midget Atom” for his strength feats in the featherweight division. He first came to international notice when he won gold at the 1946 Central American and Caribbean Games. He followed that with his silver medal at the London Olympics, and then defended his title at the 1950 CAC Games. In 1951 Wilkes added another gold, winning at the Pan American Games, before adding an Olympic bronze medal in 1952 at Helsinki. In 1954 he won the featherweight title at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games, and would win bronze at that tournament in 1958 in Cardiff, Wales. Wilkes was injured in 1955 and unable to defend his title at the Pan Americans and he just missed the podium at his third Olympics in Melbourne, placing fourth. He continued competing through 1960 but was not chosen for the West Indies Federation team for the Rome Olympics and then retired.

After his competitive days, Wilkes worked as an electrician in his hometown of San Fernando. He was named to the National Sports Hall of Fame in 1984. He was also given the Hummingbird Medal, a state decoration in Trinidad and Tobago awarded for loyal and devoted service beneficial to the state.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1948 Summer Olympics Weightlifting Featherweight, Men Olympic 2 Silver Representing Trinidad and Tobago    
1952 Summer Olympics Weightlifting Featherweight, Men Olympic 3 Bronze Representing Trinidad and Tobago    
1956 Summer Olympics Athletics 4 × 100 metres Relay, Men Olympic Trinidad and Tobago DNS Representing Trinidad and Tobago    
Weightlifting Featherweight, Men Olympic 4

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
1948 Summer Olympics 9 August 1948 Weightlifting Featherweight, Men (≤60 kg, Triathlon) Final Standings 317.5 2
1948 Summer Olympics 9 August 1948 Weightlifting Featherweight, Men (≤60 kg, Military Press) Military Press, Lift #2 97.5 AC
1948 Summer Olympics 9 August 1948 Weightlifting Featherweight, Men (≤60 kg, Snatch) Snatch, Lift #3 97.5 AC
1952 Summer Olympics 25 July 1952 Weightlifting Featherweight, Men (≤60 kg, Military Press) Snatch, Lift #3 100.0 AC
1956 Summer Olympics 23 November 1956 Weightlifting Featherweight, Men (≤60 kg, Snatch) Snatch, Lift #3 105.0 AC

Other participations

Games Role Details
1952 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony Representing Trinidad and Tobago    

Special Notes