Olympic Weightlifter Naim Suleymanoglu

suleymanoglu naim weighlifter deadlift

Naim Suleymanoglu was born in Bulgaria in 1963. His family was of Turkish descent, and he was the youngest of seven children. When he was just four years old, his father died, and his family struggled to make ends meet. To help support his family, Naim began working as a shoeshiner. 

Natural Talent

He soon began to develop a passion for weightlifting, and started to train whenever he could. Naim’s natural talent for weightlifting soon became apparent, and he began to win local competitions. 

In 1977, he was selected to compete in the Junior World Championships, where he won a gold medal. The following year, he competed in the Senior World Championships, and once again won gold. 

Naim’s success on the international stage attracted the attention of the Bulgarian government, who offered him a place on the national team. Naim accepted, and went on to compete in the 1980 and 1984 Olympic Games, winning gold medals in both. 

He also won three gold medals at the World Championships, in 1983, 1987, and 1989. In 1990, Naim defected to Turkey, where he became a national hero. He went on to win gold medals at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games, cementing his reputation as one of the greatest weightlifters of all time.

turkish weighlifting legend naim suleymanoglu

The Pocket Hercules

Naim Suleymanoglu, nicknamed “The Pocket Hercules” due to his small stature, is a retired Turkish Olympic Weightlifter. He is widely considered to be the greatest weightlifter of all time. 

Suleymanoglu set his first world record at the age of 19, and went on to set a total of 26 world records throughout his career. He won Olympic gold medals in 1988 and 1992, and silver in 1996. He also won gold at the World Championships in 1987, 1989, 1990, and 1991. 

Suleymanoglu’s career was not without controversy. In 1980, he competed for his native Bulgaria at the Olympic Games. However, he defected to Turkey in 1986, and was not allowed to compete in the 1988 Olympics as a result. He was finally able to compete in the 1992 Olympics as a Turkish citizen, and won gold in the 56kg weight class. 

Suleymanoglu’s accomplishments have made him a national hero in Turkey. He was inducted into the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame in 2002, and was voted the greatest weightlifter of the 20th century by the International Weightlifting Federation.


Suleymanoglu retired from weightlifting in 2000, and since then, he has been involved in a number of different businesses. He had a clothing line, a line of fitness equipment, and he was also a motivational speaker. 

In addition, he has been involved in a number of charitable endeavors, including working with disabled children. Suleymanoglu’s retirement from weightlifting was a sad day for the sport, but he has remained active and involved in many different ways. 

He is an inspiration to athletes and non-athletes alike, and his legacy will continue to live on.

In 2001, he received the Olympic Order from Juan Antonio Samaranch, then President of the International Olympic Committee.

One of the Greatest Weightlifters of All Time

Suleymanoglu’s legacy as one of the greatest weightlifters of all time is secure. He was a three-time Olympic Champion, and held the world record in the snatch and the clean and jerk. He was a true pioneer for Turkish weightlifting, and inspired a generation of lifters.

Naim Suleymanoglu, an Olympic weightlifter, died on November 18, 2017, at the age of 50. The cause of death was liver failure lead to celebral hemorrhage.

You may interest to watch his life story and achievements:

Fitness Clothes / Weightlifting

There are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not to wear fitness clothing while weightlifting training.

The first is comfort. If you are comfortable in your gym wear, you are more likely to have a successful workout.

Secondly, consider what type of clothing will help you perform your best. If you are lifting heavy weights, you may want to consider wearing a weightlifting belt to help support your back.

Finally, think about what you will be doing after your workout. If you are going to be doing a lot of activity after your workout, you may want to consider wearing fitness clothing to help wick away sweat and keep you comfortable.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to wear fitness clothing while weightlifting is up to you. If you are comfortable and feel that it will help you perform your best, then go for it. 

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