Naim Suleymanoglu - "a Back Wide Enough To Play Poker On"
"A Back Wide Enough to Play Poker On"
At birth, Suleymanoglu had very short arms and legs, with a long torso. His odd proportions worried his mother. When he began lifting weights as a boy, she worried
that the weights would compress his body even more and make him stop growing. When he was ten years old, he was sent away from his family and to a sports school where he could be trained.
Suleymanoglu eventually grew to his adult height of 4'11" and a weight of 141 pounds, with what Paul Kent called in the Adelaide, Australia Advertiser, "a back wide enough to play poker on." These proportions allowed him to lift enormous amounts of weight, far more than many men who were much bigger than he was. In 1982, at the age of 15, he set his first world record. A year later, he became only the second person in history to lift three times his body weight. That year, when he was 16, Suleymanoglu missed the chance to participate in the 1984 Summer Olympics because of the Soviet Union's boycott of the games.