September 12, 1954|
Winter Haven, Florida, U.S.
|Died||October 29, 1991
|Occupation||Strongman, Powerlifter, Actor|
|Years active||1987-1991 (his death)|
|Height||195 cm (6 ft 5 in)|
|Weight||180 kg (400 lb)|
|Title||IPF World Powerlifting Champion|
|Children||Verla Wilson, Colondra Wilson, Oder V Wilson|
|Representing United States|
|World's Strongest Man|
|2nd||1990 World's Strongest Man|
|5th||1991 World's Strongest Man|
|World Strongman Challenge|
|2nd||1989 w/Bill Kazmaier|
|1st||1990 w/Bill Kazmaier|
|Representing United States|
|IPF World Powerlifting Championships|
|USPF National Powerlifting Championships|
"O.D." Wilson came very close to being the first American since Bill Kazmaier to win the World's Strongest Man title in 1990. Leading the competition with a comfortable 5½ points before the last event - a 200m race with a 100 kg weight on the back - the very heavy 400 lb Wilson lacked the endurance and running speed to complete the course quickly and ended up losing by just half a point to the much lighter Jón Páll Sigmarsson in the overall. Wilson vowed to win the 1991 World's Strongest Man title, but a back injury sustained just before the competition, a prolapsed disc, hampered his performance and he finished in fifth place. Wilson was known by the nickname "Nightmare", as he was an incredibly massive man but he was known for his genial character and big heart.
Wilson spent 12 years in the military, eight of which were spent overseas in Germany, Japan, and Korea. Prior to putting on weight, Wilson was a 200 m track athlete, a basketball player, boxed for two years in the Army, and was an avid racquetball player. When Wilson was not competing, he was a security guard and a bodyguard to various celebrities, including Michael and Janet Jackson.
Wilson was a very successful powerlifter, rising to fame in the mid 1980s. He was a five time U.S. Services champion, and a five time U.S Army title holder. Wilson won the 1988 USPF National Super Heavyweight Powerlifting title, as well as the 1988 IPF World Powerlifting Championships. Some of Wilson's training partners were also noted World's Strongest Man competitors including Rick "Grizzly" Brown, Bill Kazmaier and James Perry, who competed in the 1992 World's Strongest Man.
Wilson set multiple world records throughout his career; at the 1989 Armed Forces Championships, O.D. Wilson squatted 1002 pounds (445 kg), benched 552 pounds (250 kg), and deadlifted 876 pounds (397 kg) for a then, all-time total record of 2430 pounds. Wilson's weight at that meet was measured at 400 lbs (28.5 St), while his height was measured at 6'6.78 (200 cm). It is believed that he had one of the biggest ever quadriceps, measuring a phenomenal 42 inches. Wilson's shoes size was 23 and his ring size was 26, while the ring size for the average adult male is between 10 and 12. Wilson also appeared in a 1989 science fiction action film Cyborg (film) featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme.
On October 29, 1991, while being interviewed on a radio program just a few weeks after the 1991 World's Strongest Man competition, Wilson complained of chest pains and went outside for some fresh air. Within moments he collapsed and died of cardiac arrest. He was just 37 years old.
- Squat - 454.2 kg (1002 lbs) equipped
- Bench Press - 257 kg (566 lbs) equipped
- Deadlift - 397.5 kg (876.3 lbs)
- Total - 1102.2 kg (454.2/250.4/397.5) / 2430 lbs (1002/552/876.3) equipped (2/16/89 USPF)
- → former all-time world record in super heavyweight class (+regardless of weight class)
- O.D. Wilson Powerlifting statistics (incomplete)
- Bill Henderson (May 7, 2010). "OD Wilson bio". Bill Henderson. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
- David Webster, Sons of Samson - Volume 2, page 61, (Ironmind Enterprises Inc: Nevada City), ISBN 0-926888-06-4
- Powerlifting USA article about O.D. Wilson lifting at the Armed Forces Championships 1989