Norbert Schemansky: At the Breaking Point in Helsinki (1952)

Norbert Schemansky

July 27, 1952, Helsinki, Finland – 28-year old Norbert Schemansky of Detroit, Michigan, USA competes in the snatch on his way to the Olympic gold in the 90kg weight class at the 1952 Summer Olympics at the Messuhalli (Exhibition Hall) in Helsinki.

It was the breaking point of the battle for the Olympic gold between Norb Schemansky (USA) and Grigory Novak (USSR). After the press lift Novak was ahead by 12,5kg. In his third attempt in the snatch program, Schemansky scored a world record (140,0 kg) and won the snatch by 15,0 kg.

It was the first time of the night, when he took the lead in the contest.

In the end, Norbert Schemansky won his Olympic gold medal with an outstanding 445,0 kg total (127,5 + 140,0 + 177,5). Schemansky set 3 world records that night (140,0 kg in snatch, 177,5 kg in cj and 445,0 kg in total) and outlifted his main opponent Grigory Novak (USSR) by 35,0 kg!


Norbert Schemansky, Who Won Weight-Lifting Gold but Little Applause Back Home

American Olympians in Helsinki: Young, Strong and Beautiful

American Olympians in Helsinki: Young, Strong and Beautiful

Arthur Chidlovski


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