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IWF IN MOURNING – Ben Helfgott (GBR)

It is with great regret that the IWF learnt about the recent loss of Sir Ben Helfgott (GBR), an Olympian lifter in 1956 and 1960, at the age of 93.

Mr Helfgott was an example of courage, determination, and resilience, as he was one of the very few athletes capable of competing at the Games after having survived the II World War Holocaust. Born in Poland in 1929 in a Jewish family, he was deported to a concentration camp and released in 1944, at the age of 15.

After that, he pursued a successful career in weightlifting, having finished 13th at the Games in Australia and 18th in the Olympic celebration in Italy, both in the lightweight category. He was also a bronze medallist at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games.

Following his retirement from sports, he was deeply involved with Holocaust education and remembrance initiatives. For his strong and valuable commitment to this area, he was knighted by the Queen in 2018.

In this moment of grief, the IWF presents its heartfelt condolences to Mr Helfgott’s family and friends as well as to the entire British weightlifting community.