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Tommy Kono
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Athlete
    (June 27, 1930-April 24, 2016)
    Born in Sacramento, California
    Birth name was Tamio Kono
    Weightlifter and body builder
    Won gold medals at the World Weightlifting Championship six times (1953-55,1957-59)
    Won two Olympic gold medals (1952,1956) and one silver medal (1960)
    Set 26 world records
    Coached the Olympic weightlifting teams of Mexico (1968), West Germany (1972) and the US (1976)
    Won ‘Iron Man’ magazine’s Mr. World title in body building (1954)
    Inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame (1990)
    He was so sickly as a child that instead of going to physical education classes, he would lie on a cot in a darkened room.
    In his first weightlifting contest (1948), he finished second – which would sound impressive, except there were only two people competing.
    During his competitive years, he would gain weight by eating six or seven meals a day; to lose weight he would eat only three meals a day.
    He complained that modern athletes are spoiled: ‘This generation is the entitlement generation. They are not willing to work hard.’
    When he was twelve, he and his family were sent to an internment camp for Japanese Americans at Tule Lake, California.
    The desert air helped his asthma and he was introduced to weightlifting at the camp.
    His ability to gain and lose weight without losing strength allowed him to fill in wherever the US team needed him, so he won each of his three Olympic medals in a different weight class (lightweight in 1952, light heavyweight in 1956, and middleweight in 1960).
    He was the only weightlifter to set records in four different weight classes (the three he won Olympic medals in, plus middle-heavyweight).
    His appearance at the 1961 Mr. Universe contest in Vienna inspired a young Arnold Schwarzenegger.
    He was named lifter of the century by the International Weightlifting Federation (1999).

Credit: C. Fishel


    For 2018, as of last week, Out of 27 Votes: 62.96% Annoying
    In 2017, Out of 28 Votes: 82.14% Annoying
    In 2016, Out of 20 Votes: 45.00% Annoying
 
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