Edward Lawrence Levy
Levy, who unfortunately had retired before the first modern Olympics was held, served as a member of the International weightlifting jury at the first Olympics in 1896.
On March 28, 1891, Levy won the first World Weightlifting competition. Held at Cafe Monica in London's Piccadilly Circus, the competition consisted of seven men from six countries who lifted heavy weights (mostly repetition or alternate pressing with 56- or 84-pound dumbell weights in each hand) until they could not continue. Levy, who was 39 years old at the time, was the last man standing. He later set 14 world records between 1891-1894!
Levy, who was initially a schoolteacher, became interested in athletics when he hired a gymnastics coach for his students. The winner of the first British amateur weightlifting contest, Levy founded the Amateur Gymnastics Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. He wrote many books, including The Autobiography of an Athlete, but his first love remained athletics, and he said, "A person who does not engage in sport is not worth educating." Levy is a member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. Dec. 21, 1851 - d. May 19, 1932
Use links below to navigate through the olympics section of Jews In Sports.
Jewish Sports Legends: The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, by Joseph Siegman (Washington, D.C.: Brassey's, 2000)
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)