Host City: München, West Germany
Venue(s): Weightlifting Hall, Exhibition Lands (Hall 7), München
Date Started: September 3, 1972
Date Finished: September 3, 1972
Format: Total of best lifts in military press, snatch, and clean & jerk determined placement. Ties broken by lightest bodyweight.
Soviet David Rigert was probably the heaviest favorite in the 1972 Olympic weightlifting competition. He had won the 1971 World Championships and his world record of 562.5 kg was well ahead of his peers. Rigert took the lead with a press of 187.5 kg but then failed all three of his snatch attempts and was out. He responded by banging his head against a wall, and pulling his hair out, and had to be restrained by his coaches. With Rigert out the event was wide-open and Bulgarians took the gold and silver medals, with Andon Nikolov winning gold and Atanas Shopov silver. At the 1976 Olympics Rigert would return and win the gold medal, with Shopov winning bronze, but at the 1980 Olympics Rigert again failed on all of his snatch attempts.
|4||Phil Grippaldi||25||United States||USA||505.0|
|5||Rick Holbrook||24||United States||USA||505.0|
|9||Dietrich Leh||29||West Germany||FRG||487.5|
|15||Peter Arthur||33||Great Britain||GBR||455.0|
|18||César Gaudin||27||Puerto Rico||PUR||425.0|
|AC||David Rigert||25||Soviet Union||URS||[187.5]|
|AC||John Bolton||27||New Zealand||NZL||DNF|