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Naim Suleymanoglu

Suleymanoglu's Psychological Tactics

Suleymanoglu was known for his showmanship, as well as for his psychological strategy during competitions. According to a writer for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Suleymanoglu often sat quietly offstage, passing up his turn to lift, while competitors tried to lift huge amounts of weight in order to beat them. When they were exhausted, Suleymanoglu would stride out on stage, ask for more weight to be put on the bar, and then lift it easily, beating everyone.

After winning his third gold medal in Atlanta, Suleymanoglu retired from competition and enjoyed his fame and wealth for a few years; he frequently appeared in Turkish tabloid newspapers, which told scandalous stories about his wild lifestyle. However, in 1999, he decided to make a comeback and compete in the 2000 Olympic Games. He trained for just over a year before the Games, hoping to win an unprecedented fourth gold medal. Only three other athletes had ever won medals in four different Olympics: Danish sailor Paul Elvstrom, American discus thrower Al Oerter, and American long jumper Carl Lewis.

According to Forde, Suleymanoglu said that he thought a gold-medal win at Sydney would be easier than winning gold in Atlanta. "Silver or bronze is nothing for me. I am only satisfied with gold." But in April of 2000, he came in third in the European championships; it was only his second defeat in 16 years.

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Famous Sports StarsOther SportsNaim Suleymanoglu Biography - "a Back Wide Enough To Play Poker On", Escapes To Turkey, Chronology, A Third Gold Medal - CONTACT INFORMATION