Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted

Sport: Weightlifting
Inducted: 1980
Country: United States
Born: November 16, 1936 in Jerusalem, Palestine
Died: June 4, 2022

Ike Berger is a three-time World Featherweight Weightlifting Champion, winner of three Olympic medals, owner of 23 world weightlifting records, and 12-time United States national titleholder.

The son of a rabbi and himself an ordained cantor, Berger was the first featherweight in history to lift more than 800 pounds and the first to press double his body weight.

In the Featherweight class at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Berger won the gold medal with a lift of 776.5 pounds (352.5 kgs). Four years later, he took a silver at the Rome Olympiad (798.75 pounds, 362.6 kgs.). And in 1964 at the Tokyo Games, he
again won the Featherweight class silver at 841.5 pounds (382.5 kgs.).

His 1964 Olympic record of 336 pounds in the jerk, at a bodyweight of 130 pounds, made him pound-forpound the strongest man in the world, a record that stood for nine years. He was undefeated in six competitions against the Soviet Union.

Competing in the Fifth Maccabiah Games in 1957, the year after winning his Olympic gold medal, Berger became the first athlete to establish a World record in the State of Israel, pressing 258 pounds (117.1 kgs.) in Featherweight competition.

In 1965, Ike Berger was elected to the United States Weightlifters Hall of Fame.


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