I was watching my daughter compete at the Youth International at the OTC. I watched it over the livestream. Then, my ears bled.
A particular Youth Olympian could not answer the simplest trivia question-" which weightlifter was the model for the bronze statue in front of the Colorado Springs OTC?" . I have trained at the OTC for National Junior Team camps at least 4 times. The first history lesson you get is that the statue is modeled after Wes Barnett. Ok, so, may be they don't tell kids who LIVE at the OTC this fact any more.
And, my ears began to bleed more when the so-called youth Olympian had no idea who Wes Barnett was and only sort of knew who Brianna Barnett (his niece) is. He's just one of one the USA's most successful Male lifters of the 90's. Like recent history, like he's the last male to at the world championships. It's like a Red Sox player not knowing who Johhny Damon was to them or the curse of the Bambino.
On the other hand, I've had the same experience of not knowing enough history in the show jumping world, when talking to my trainer who knows the likes of George Morris and Beezie Madden. Then again, I'm not pretending to be at the same level in riding that I am in weightlifting.
In effect, I felt empathy for this poorly informed youth Olympian, and , so, internets, here's some bonafide weightlifting history that you need to know.
This is not an exhaustive list. That would take too long to write, and you'd probably stop reading after page 6. I'm sure some old school lifters will point out that I left off Alexeev, Yanko Rusev, Paul Anderson..etc...etc. This should be a good starting point, though, if you truly want to become a weightlifting geek.
Also, I'm not citing any sources, for the most part, because all this information should be common knowledge, like who was the first president of the United States, and which states border Alaska (trick question- gotcha).
So, for the ADD internet age of the 2010's here you go: