The Lift

In June of 1955 at twenty-two years of age, Paul Anderson won the USA National Amateur Athletic Union Weightlifting Championship which allowed him to travel to Moscow where he captured the world’s attention during an amateur weightlifting contest by lifting more weight on his first lift than any of his famous Russian competitors. After astounding the Russians, Paul was called “chudo piryody”: a wonder of nature as well as the “Dixie Derrick.” At this meet he broke two world records. From Russia he traveled to many Middle Eastern countries serving as a goodwill ambassador for the United States. In the fall of that same year, Paul added to his fame by winning first place in the World Championship in Munich, Germany, where he surpassed two more world records. A year later he gained further acclaim in Melbourne, Australia¬†as the Gold Medalist in the super heavyweight category for Olympic Weightlifting. To date he is the last American super heavyweight to come away with the “gold.” Paul Anderson, the world’s strongest man, is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as well as Famous First Facts for lifting an incredible 6,270 pounds, the greatest weight ever raised by a human being; this feat was accomplished on June 12, 1957, in Toccoa, Georgia.