|Member of the Hellenic Parliament|
17 June 2012
13 October 1971 |
|Political party||Panhellenic Socialist Movement|
|Gold||1992 Barcelona||-82.5 kg|
|Gold||1996 Atlanta||-83 kg|
|Gold||2000 Sydney||-85 kg|
|Bronze||2004 Athens||-85 kg|
|Gold||1993 Melbourne||-83 kg|
|Gold||1995 Guangzhou||-83 kg|
|Gold||1998 Lahti||-85 kg|
|Silver||1999 Athens||-85 kg|
|Gold||1995 Warszawa||-83 kg|
|Silver||1998 Riesa||-85 kg|
|Bronze||1992 Szekszard||-82.5 kg|
|Bronze||1993 Sofia||-83 kg|
Pyrros Dimas (Greek: Πύρρος Δήμας; pronounced [piros ðimas], born on 13 October 1971) is a retired Greek weightlifter, considered as one of the greatest of all time, having been three times Olympic champion (a fourth despite a knee injury, won the Bronze medal) and three times World Champion.
Victories with Albania
Dimas started the sport at 11 and competed at a junior's level at 14. At 18, in 1989, he became triple Champion of Albania for the 82.5 kg category and in 1990 he repeated himself. While in Albania, he was coached by Zef Kovaci.
In 1990 he was also accorded the title "Master of Sports" by the Albanian government and the title "European Master" by the European Weightlifting Federation.
He was part of the Albanian weightlifting team to which he made important contributions: In 1989 in the 62nd World Championship of Weightlifting Dimas ranked 12th in the World and helped Albania rank 13th in the world.).
In the 69th European Weightlifting Championship (held in Aalborg, Denmark May 1990), Dimas ranked 4th in Europe and Albania ranked 3rd (after 1st placed USSR and 2nd placed Bulgaria), and in the European Cup for nations (in Antalya, Turkey, December 1990) Dimas, Leonidas Sabanis and Fatmir Bushi helped Albania rank 2nd in Europe (after 1st placed Bulgaria).
Victories with Greece
Dimas emigrated to Greece in 1991, at age 20. He acquired Greek citizenship in 1992, and first competed under the Greek flag in the 1992 Summer Olympics, winning the gold medal in the 82.5 kg class.
During his third lift at the clean and jerk, he shouted "Για την Ελλάδα!" (transliterated "Gia tin Ellada!"; meaning "For Greece!"), thus dedicating his victory to Greece. This is the catchphrase with which he is most associated in Greece.
At a time when Greek success at the Olympics was limited, he and Voula Patoulidou (the surprise gold medalist at the 100m hurdles) became instant national heroes. They were greeted as such on their return to Greece at a grand ceremony attended by 60,000 people at the Panathinaikon Stadium in Athens, with a further 30,000 outside the stadium. His birthplace gave rise to his nickname "The Lion of Himara". His outstanding number of Olympic Gold Medals created another nickname "Midas".
Characteristic of his self-confidence was his tendency to keep the weights lifted after the buzzer had sounded so that the crowd could take photographs.
With the 1993 and 1995 World titles under his belt, Dimas was the favorite to win Olympic Gold in the 83 kg class at the 1996 Summer Olympics, where he was the flagbearer of the Greek Olympic team. He won the event with two new World Records.
At the 2000 Summer Olympics, he won yet another gold medal, this time in the 85 kg class. This made him one of just three weightlifters at that time to have won three Olympic gold medals, the others being Naim Süleymanoğlu (Turkey, but born in Bulgaria) and Kakhi Kakhiashvili (Greece, but born in Georgia). Halil Mutlu (like Süleymanoğlu, a Bulgaria-born Turk) would become the fourth in 2004.
At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, Dimas was again chosen as Greek flagbearer for both the opening and closing ceremonies. Dimas was recovering from knee surgery and a hurt wrist and was not expected to compete in these Olympics, but he came away with a bronze medal in the 85 kg class, becoming only the fourth weightlifter in history to win a medal at four different Olympic Games and only the third to win them successively four times, thus cementing his status as a national hero in Greece.
After earning the bronze medal he signalled his retirement by leaving his shoes on the platform, while the appreciative Greek crowd gave him a standing ovation.
Dimas is married to Anastasia Sdougkou, a former Greek National Television (ERT) sports reporter. Together they have four children, Eleni (b. 1995), Victor (b. 1998), Maria (b. 2000), and Nickolas (b. 2009).
- Snatch: 180.5 kg 1999 in Athens in the class to 85 kg.
- Clean and jerk: 215.0 kg 2000 Summer Olympics in the class to 85 kg.
- Total: 392.5 kg 1996 Summer Olympics in the class to 83 kg.
Notes and references
- "Past Olympics Athletes >> Pyrros Dimas". AFP (ESPN). 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-13.
- Pyrros Dimas' personal web-page. In Greek language
- Armillotta, Giovanni (April 2008). "Cili ishte shqiptari Pirro Dhima ne Shqiperi?" [Who was the Albanian Pirro Dhima in Albania]. Albanian Football Magazine X (178): 12–13. Retrieved 2010-06-11. (Albanian)
- "Godina out, Washington in discus final". The Denver Post. 30 July 1996.
- "Pyrros DIMAS - The most successful weightlifter". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
- "Board of Directors Milestones". Hellenic Weightlifting Federation. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
- "Pyrros Dimas carries weight of rebuilding his sport". Kathimerini. 2008-10-13. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
- "Dimas Pyrros (GRE)". Database Weightlifting. Retrieved 2009-07-27.