Isaac Berger

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Isaac Berger
Personal information
Born November 16, 1936 (1936-11-16) (age 78)

Isaac "Ike" Berger (born November 16, 1936, in Jerusalem) was an Olympic weightlifter for the United States. He is the holder of 23 world weightlifting records, and won the national title in the United States twelve times.[1]

Early life[edit]

Berger, who is Jewish,[2] emigrated to the United States when he was in his teens.[3]


He was the first featherweight in history to lift more than 800 pounds (360 kg), and the first to press double his body weight.[4] He won the featherweight championship of the United States seven times, and the world championship twice. He twice won the featherweight title at the Pan American Games.[3]


He competed in three consecutive Summer Olympics in the featherweight class. Berger won the gold medal at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, with lifts totaling 352.5 kilograms (777 lb). He won a silver medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome and the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.[3]

Maccabiah Games[edit]

In his gold medal performance at the 1957 Maccabiah Games, Berger was the first Israeli athlete to set a world record in any sport. He pressed 117 kilograms (258 lb).[4]

Halls of fame[edit]

Berger was named to the United States Weightlifters Hall of Fame in 1965,[4] and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1980.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Isaac "Ike" Berger". International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved February 23, 2014. 
  2. ^ Taylor, Paul (2004). Jews and the Olympic Games: The Clash Between Sport and Politics. Brighton; Portland: Sussex Academic Press. p. 225. ISBN 1-903900-87-5. 
  3. ^ a b c "Berger, Isaac: Weightlifting". Archived from the original on March 19, 2007. Retrieved February 22, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "Berger, Isaac 'Ike'". Jews in Sports. Retrieved February 23, 2014.