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Spellman, Frank

Weightlifting - 1990

Frank Spellman established two Olympic records en route to a gold medal at the 1948 Olympic Games in London. His clean and jerk of 336.25 pounds set a new Olympic Middleweight record, as did his record-setting total lift of 859.5 pounds (390 kgs.).

In 1954, Spellman established a new World record at the National (U.S.) Squat Championships, with a squat lift of 510 pounds at a personal weight of 170 pounds. In 1946, his press of 257.75 pounds set a U.S. Middleweight record. He bettered that mark two years later with a press of 260 pounds and upped it again in 1950 to 261.75 pounds.

Representing the York Barbell Team of York, Pennsylvania, Spellman won his first U.S. championship, the Middleweight Junior title, in 1942. In 1946, and again in 1948, the year of his Olympic victory, Spellman won the U.S. National Middleweight title. He captured the North American Middleweight crown in 1949. And, in 1961, at the age of 39, he won his third U.S. National Middleweight championship.

Spellman also placed third at the 1946 World Championships in Paris and second in the World event the following year in Philadelphia. At the U.S. Nationals, in the years he did not win a gold medal, the Pennsylvanian finished second in 1947, 1949, 1952 (Lightweight), 1954 (Light Heavyweight), and third in 1951. In 1950, Spellman took the Middleweight gold medal at the World Maccabiah Games in Israel.

Spellman enjoyed a long and successful career as a weightlifter, winning his last championship in 1971 at the age of 49. Frank Spellman has been elected to the United States Weightlifting Hall of Fame, the Helms (Amateur Athletic Federation) Hall of Fame, and the Porterville Quarterback Hall of Fame.

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