Schemansky won four Olympic medals over two weight classes from 1948 through 1964, missing the 1956 Games in between. In 1948, Schemansky clean and jerked 170 pounds as a heavyweight, winning silver. At the 2008 Olympics, the weakest heavyweight lifter clean and jerked 180 pounds. Of course, the definition of a heavyweight has changed drastically over the last 60 years.
2 of 10Neil Leifer/SI
Alexeyev, who passed away at 69 in 2011, was a super heavyweight Renaissance man. SI called him "the finest gardener, cook, carpenter, singer and checker player perhaps in all of Soviet Russia." He also set 80 world records and won back-to-back golds at the 1972 and 1976 Olympics.
3 of 10Michael Probst/AP
The great Pocket Hercules (Suleymanoglu is 4 feet, 10 inches) was the first three-time Olympic weightlifting champion -- 1988, 1992 and 1996.
4 of 10Tannen Maury/AP
Mutlu took the baton from the Pocket Hercules and won three straight golds of his own from 1996 to 2004. Like his Turkish predecessor, Mutlu doesn't crack 5 feet. But he does own the oldest Olympic weightlifting records in the books, all coming at the 2000 Games in the lightest division (56 kilograms).
5 of 10Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Kakhiashvili also won three straight Olympic titles, the first for the Unified Team in 1992 (he was Georgian born) and the next two for Greece (his mother's birthplace).
6 of 10Lynn Johnson/SI
Dimas may be the most revered athlete in the birthplace of the Olympic Games. He twice carried Greece's flag in the opening ceremony, and his face was plastered throughout Athens leading up to the 2004 Games. Dimas won three straight golds from 1992 through 2000 and finished his career with a memorable bronze in Athens. The medal ceremony was delayed several minutes by the Nikaia Weightlifting Hall crowd's relentless ovation for their hero.
7 of 10Katsumi Kasahara/AP
Weller competed in five Olympics, winning four medals, including one gold. He first lifted for East Germany in 1988. In 1989, his wife was killed in a car wreck that also fractured Weller's skull. He came back to win gold for Germany in 1992 and compete through the 2000 Games.
8 of 10Bob Martin/SI
Nott is the only U.S. female weightlifter to win Olympic gold, doing so in the first Games that included women lifters in 2000. A former gymnast and soccer player, Nott was elevated from silver to gold after a Bulgarian tested failed a drug test.
9 of 10Andres Leighton/AP
The introduction of women's weightlifting has boosted China's recent rise in the overall medal standings. Chinese women have won at least three weightlifting medals at every Games, and China has won the weightlifting medal tally every Olympiad since Sydney. Chen came out of retirement to win golds in 2004 and 2008.
10 of 10Phil Walter/Getty Images
Liu is the only other woman to win two Olympic golds, also in 2004 and 2008. Liu holds the clean and jerk and snatch world and Olympic records in her weight class. With Chen reportedly retired, Liu can become the only three-time champion in London.
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