America’s Numero Uno


Anthony (Tony) Terlazzo (1911-1966) was the first U.S. Olympic weightlifter to win an Olympic gold medal (1936) and a World title (1937).

Tony Terlazzo was a graduate of the York Barbell Club of Bob Hoffman.

Known as the York Oil Burner Athletic Club, Hoffman’s weightlifting venture consisted mostly of Pennsylvania Dutch (Walter and Harry Good, Art Levan, Joe Miller, Dick Batchell and more) and the Sicilians from Italy (Tony Terlazzo, Joe and Anthony  Fiorito, Gus Modica, Angelo Taormine and others).  The club became a true representation of the American melting pot concept with the addition of such Eastern European athletes as Lithuanian Wally Zagurski, Ukrainian John Terpak, Czech John Grimek, Hungarian Steve Stanko… Employed by Bob Hoffman, they all worked at his oil burner plant for a $10-per-week pay and trained in the weightlifting gym.

Team USA and Bob Hoffman’s gang was still on its way to become a true leader in Olympic weightlifting when Tony Terlazzo became one of the most talented and strongest featherweights in the world.

In 1932, he won the bronze medal at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles with the 280kg total. He added 32.5kg and won the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin with the 312.5kg in total.

In 1937 and 1938, Terlazzo won the World Championships hosted in Paris and Vienna.

In 1944, American Numero Uno left York, PA for Los Angeles when he owned and ran his own gym for years.

Tony Terlazzo set 5 world records in Olympic weightlifting.

Like many weightlifters from York, Terlazzo also was an avid bodybuilder featured on the Strength and Health covers. In 1939, he won the Mr. America (AAU) title.

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