Go USA Weightlifting Marathon: Phil Grippaldi
The 2017 IWF World Championships tournament is scheduled to be held in Anaheim, USA from November 27, 2017 to December 5, 2017. The Lift Up and our sub-publications continue the Go USA Weightlifting Marathon superseries of historical articles to cheer up the Team USA and all the fans of the Iron Game who certainly will be following one of the key Olympic weightlifting events of the year.
Phil Grippaldi (b. 1946) was one of the most talented and popular U.S. Olympic weightlifters in the 1970s.
He competed in the 90kg weight class and had an impressive look of a bodybuilder and strength of an Olympic weightlifter.
Grippaldi grew up in New Jersey. When he was a kid, he was introduced into bodybuilding routines by one of his neighbors. At 16, little Phil was 5’5″ and had a 19″ biceps.
Grippaldi’s coaches in weightlifting were Butch Toth of the Keasbey Eagles weightlifting club and Micheal Huszka of the Magnificent Seven (legendary Team Hungary Weightlifting of 1960s)
Phil Grippaldi managed to win 6 titles at the USA National championships (1967, 1968, 1970, 1973, 1974, 1977), won 3 Pan American Games (1967, 1971, 1975) and competed for Team USA Weightlifting at three Olympics. He took the 7th place in Mexico City in 1968 and the 4th place in Munich in 1972. At the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Phil showed the 4th result with the total of 355кг (150+205) in the middle heavyweight. However, he failed the drug test afterwards and the result was eliminated.
At the 1970 World Championship in Columbus, OH, Phil Grippaldi won the silver medal finishing secong after Vasily Kolotov of the USSR.
On the History in Color photo:
Phil Grippaldi is at the 1972 Olympics in Munich (left, John Terpak seen in the back) and preparing for the lift at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal (right)