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Norb Schemansky

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 1
Bronze 2
Total 4
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameNorbert "Norb"•Schemansky
Used nameNorb•Schemansky
Born30 May 1924 in Detroit, Michigan (USA)
Died7 September 2016 in Dearborn, Michigan (USA)
Measurements181 cm / 90-121 kg
AffiliationsYork Barbell Club, York (USA)
NOC United States


Norb Schemansky was the first Olympic weightlifter to win four Olympic medals, and thru 2008, nobody has won more Olympic medals, although the record has been equalled several times. He first became prominent internationally when he finished second in the 1947 World Championships, behind John Davis. Though Schemansky had several second-place finishes, both at the Olympics and Worlds, he won one Olympic gold medal, and three World Championships – 1951, 1953, and 1954. He won his first national title in the 1949 AAU heavyweight division and would win eight more, ending up with the 1965 AAU heavyweight title. He also won the heavyweight gold medal at the 1955 Pan American Games. During his career, Schemansky set 24 world records, including in 1964 becoming the first man to record a 3-lift total of over 1,200 lbs (545.5 kg). He worked as a fireman early in his career, but was fired when he took leave to attend the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, at which he won gold. Schemansky retired from competitive lifting in 1972 and later worked as a civil engineer in his hometown of Dearborn, Michigan. He is a member of the National Weightlifting Hall of Fame, the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame, and the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1948 Summer Olympics Weightlifting USA Norb Schemansky
Heavyweight, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
1952 Summer Olympics Weightlifting USA Norb Schemansky
Middle-Heavyweight, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
1960 Summer Olympics Weightlifting USA Norb Schemansky
Heavyweight, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
1964 Summer Olympics Weightlifting USA Norb Schemansky
Heavyweight, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze

Special Notes