WEIGHTLIFTING was part of the original Olympic programme at Athens in 1896 when Britain won her one and only gold medal in the sport. It appeared again in 1904 and then again in 1920 since when it has been a part of every Olympics. Women competed for the first time at Sydney in 2000.
Launceston Elliot (below) and Louis Martin, with a middle-heavweight bronze in 1960 and 1964, have each won a record two medals for Britain.
Britain's last weightlifting medal was a bronze, won by David Mercer in the middle-heavyweight division at Los Angeles in 1984.
British gold medallist
Born: 9 June 1874, Mumbai, India
Died: 8 August 1930, Whittlesea, Melbourne, Australia
Olympics competed in: 2 (1896, 1900)
1896 Gold - Weightlifting (One-Hand Lift)
1896 Silver - Weightlifting (Two-Hand Lift)
Launceston Elliot was one of several members of the 1896 British Olympic team born in India, but he is named after the Tasmanian city where he was conceived, thus making his parents, Charles and Ann Elliot, the Victorian equivalent of Posh and Becks!
Elliot was 13 when he first came to live in England and soon found he was a proficient weightlifter and was the national champion in 1894 at the age of 20 and when he went to Athens two years later he was, at 21 years 302 days, the youngest British Olympic competitor.
At Athens he claimed the distinction of becoming Britain's first Olympic champion when he won the One-Hand Lift. He was a dual medallist as he also took silver in the Two-Hand Lift. An all-rounder, he also competed in the 100 metres track event, rope climbing gymnastics discipline and also entered the Greco-Roman wrestling competition. He took part in the Discus throw at the 1900 Paris Olympics.
At the turn of the 20th Century Elliot turned professional and with a partner called Montague Spencer they put on a music hall strongman act. Elliot died of cancer of the spine in 1930 at the age of 56.
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