Weightlifter Naim Süleymanoğlu made his Olympic debut at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games. He was quickly nicknamed “The Pocket Hercules” for the combination of his short stature (1.47m or 4ft10in) and incredible display of strength.

Born in Bulgaria to Turkish parents, Süleymanoğlu obtained Turkish citizenship in 1986 and was now representing Turkey in the weightlifting competition at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games.

“The Pocket Hercules” lifted 190.0kg in the clean and jerk; and 152.5kg in the snatch, reaching a total of 342.5kg. This result gave him both the Olympic gold medal and new world record, by an impressive 30kg.

Naim Süleymanoğlu would still be back at the Olympic Games in Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996 to win two more Olympic gold medals and have his final Summer Games at Sydney 2000.

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  1. This is sometime ago..yet he made such an impression that I never mispronounced or forgot his name. Truly a great athlete and who knows how many other great things he had done in his life.


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