Tommy Kono in 2015
June 27, 1930 |
|Event(s)||Clean and press
Clean and jerk
|Achievements and titles|
|World finals||1953 gold medal
1954 gold medal
1955 gold medal
1957 gold medal
1958 gold medal
1959 gold medal
|Olympic finals||1952 gold medal
1956 gold medal
1960 silver medal
Tamio "Tommy" Kono (born June 27, 1930) was a U.S. weightlifter in the 1950s and 1960s. Kono is the only Olympic weightlifter in history to have set world records in four different weight classes: lightweight (149 pounds or 67.5 kilograms), middleweight (165 lb or 75 kg), light-heavyweight (182 lb or 82.5 kg), and middle-heavyweight (198 lb or 90 kg).
Of Japanese descent, Kono was born in Sacramento, California, on June 27, 1930. Kono's family was relocated to Tule Lake internment camp during World War II. Tule lake camp was in a very isolated area in the desert in northern California.
Sickly as a child, the desert air helped Kono's asthma. It was during the relocation that Kono was introduced to weightlifting by neighbors including the late Noboru "Dave" Shimoda, a member of the Tule Lake weight lifting and bodybuilding club and brother of actor Yuki Shimoda and his friends, Gotoh, Toda, and Bob Nakanishi. After 3½ years they were released and Kono finished high school at Sacramento High.
Olympic weightlifting/bodybuilding career
Kono was a gold medalist at both the 1952 Summer Olympics and 1956 Summer Olympics, and a silver medalist at the 1960 Summer Olympics. Kono won the World Weightlifting Championships six consecutive times from 1953 to 1959, and set a total of 21 world records. Kono is also a three-time Pan American Games champion in 1955, 1959, and 1963.
In the 1970s Kono moved to Hawaii, where he has lived ever since. On his home visits he holds workshops in weightlifting.
- "HickokSports.com Sports Biographies: Kono, "Tommy"". Retrieved 2007-10-12.
- "Weightlifting Hall of Fame". International Weightlifting Federation. Retrieved 2008-08-07.