Weightlifting at the 1920 Summer Olympics

The 1920 weightlifting events were contested outdoors, at the Beerschot Stadium shortly after the track & field events had been completed. This was common in early Olympics, when weightlifting was actually contested as a portion of the track & field contests in 1896 and 1904.

Most of the world’s great weightlifters were not present at Antwerp in 1920. The top lifters in the world in 1920 were German and Austrian but those countries were not invited to the Olympics because of their aggressor status during World War I. Only unofficial World Championships had been contested prior to 1920, the last one in 1913. After the Olympic weightlifting events, a separate world championship was contested in Vienna in early September. It was held concurrently with a similar event for wrestling. Of the 15 medalists at that event, all but one was from either Germany or Austria. Weightlifting was not contested at the 1919 Inter-Allied Games in Paris.

The French and Swedish teams both brought their own barbells to Antwerp, as they liked to use their own equipment. The French liked barbells without discs while the Swedes preferred one with discs. The director-general of the competition decided against allowing them to use their own equipment.


Event Status Date Participants NOCs
Featherweight (≤60 kilograms), Men Olympic 29 August 1920 14 11
Lightweight (≤67½ kilograms), Men Olympic 29 August 1920 12 10
Middleweight (≤75 kilograms), Men Olympic 30 August 1920 10 7
Light-Heavyweight (≤82½ kilograms), Men Olympic 31 August 1920 11 9
Heavyweight (>82½ kilograms), Men Olympic 31 August 1920 6 5
53 (53/0) 14 (14/0)


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Featherweight, Men Frans De HaesBEL Alfred SchmidtEST Eugène RyterSUI
Lightweight, Men Alfred NeulandEST Louis WilliquetBEL Florimond RoomsBEL
Middleweight, Men Henri GanceFRA Pietro BianchiITA Albert PetterssonSWE
Light-Heavyweight, Men Ernest CadineFRA Fritz HünenbergerSUI Erik PetterssonSWE
Heavyweight, Men Filippo BottinoITA Jos AlzinLUX Louis BernotFRA

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
France FRA 2 0 1 3
Belgium BEL 1 1 1 3
Estonia EST 1 1 0 2
Italy ITA 1 1 0 2
Switzerland SUI 0 1 1 2
Luxembourg LUX 0 1 0 1
Sweden SWE 0 0 2 2