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Weightlifting at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games:

Men's Heavyweight

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Host City: Helsinki, Finland
Venue(s): Exhibition Hall II, Helsinki
Date Started: July 27, 1952
Date Finished: July 27, 1952
Format: Total of best lifts in military press, snatch, and clean & jerk determined placement. Ties broken by lightest bodyweight.

Gold: USA John Davis
Silver: USA Jim Bradford
Bronze: ARG Humberto Selvetti


[John Davis] was the defending gold medalist. He had won the World Championships as a light-heavyweight in 1938, and as a heavyweight in 1946-47 and 1949-51. He held the world record and came to Helsinki as the heaviest of favorites. He was so dominant that the Soviets refused to even enter a lifter in the class to oppose him. Although he did not approach his world record of 482.5 kg, Davis won the gold medal easily, with the best lift in each phase. He was trailed by his teammate [Jim Bradford], who was 22.5 kg behind, and [Humberto Selvetti], who won Argentina’s first Olympic weightlifting medal. Selvetti would return in 1956 and improve to a silver medal, while Bradford would win another silver medal, but wait eight years to do so, at Rome. Davis competed at the 1953 World Championships, losing for the only time in his career, to Canada’s Doug Hepburn, and then retired from lifting.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsMilitary PressSnatchClean & Jerk2nd Phase Summary

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal K
1 John Davis 31 United States USA Gold 460.0 OR
2 Jim Bradford 23 United States USA Silver 437.5
3 Humberto Selvetti 20 Argentina ARG Bronze 432.5
4 Heinz Schattner 40 Germany GER 422.5
5 Dave Baillie 24 Canada CAN 420.0
6 Norberto Ferreira 33 Argentina ARG 410.0
7 Harold Cleghorn 39 New Zealand NZL 400.0
8 Franz Hölbl 24 Austria AUT 387.5
9 Lage Andersson 32 Sweden SWE 380.0
10 Adelfino Mancinelli 44 Italy ITA 372.5
11 Eino Mäkinen 26 Finland FIN 367.5
12 Valdemar de Silveira 36 Brazil BRA 362.5
AC Bram Charité 34 Netherlands NED [115.0]