Tommy Tamio Kono

:: 1/25/2018: Michael Strazzanti, Cleveland Ohio, USA
I had the true honor and privileged of having Tommy as a friend and mentor for over 15 years while I trained in weightlifting. Training at the Nu'uanu YMCA, travelling to compete and demonstrate for his clinics with him are some of the fondest memories of my life. It's is a true testament to the love of weightlifting and character this man possessed that he would allow me to learn so much from him. He was a genius who learned instinctively, in rigorous conditions, 70 years ago, what most of us still today strive to grasp about the lifts and training. A great American hero who represented our country with consistent pride and excellence!

:: 8/4/2016: Curt Vinci, Cleveland OH, United States
To the Kono Family, if was not for Tommy my dad doesn't go on to capture the first gold medal for United States in the 1956 games and to capture his 2nd gold medal in the 1960 summer Olympic Games. Even though we never met, I am Greatly honored by you Tommy and the many wonderful story's my dad spoke highly about you. A great blessing here on Earth.

:: 5/28/2016: G.H. Massiha, Lafayette LA, USA
RIP Great lifter! Here is winning 1958 World.

Dear & Respected Mr Kono,Sir, Please accept my most humble & Warmest Regards,for ALL your achievements.I shall ,indeed be happy to receive a reply from you ,sir,as now,at age ,52,am going to start Weightlifting & would love to have your advise May God Bless you. Thanks & Regards, shrinivas sant,Nasik Cell No --9822456365

:: 2/27/2012: Stephen Powell, Columbia SC, United States
HArvey, email me at I will send you his personal email address.

:: 2/23/2012: Harvey Ouchi, Pearl City Hawaii, USA
Recently, I heard that Tommy Kono spoke to a group near where I live, but was wondering how to get in touch with him. Anyone out there know how to get in touch with him. I wanted him to speak to a group of kids. Thanks.

:: 10/8/2011: Fan from the Y, Honolulu HI, USA
It's 2011, and you can still find Mr. Kono at Nuuanu YMCA, offering his assistance to the Olympic lifters that train there. He may have slowed down over the past few decades, but he still does some sets on the machines. What I admire most about him is is humbleness and contributions to others over the years. As I raise my son, I often ask myself, 'What would Tommy say?'...'How would Tommy handle it?''s not the kinds of questions you associate with the 'sports stars' of today. But then again, true role models are VERY rare. Thanks Tommy, the positive impressions you have made on others are everlasting...

:: 8/7/2011: Gioacchino Ricci, Rome , Italy
To win 3 successive olympic golds is not just a question of strength, you have to be lucky..... Kono was the strongest in 1960, he pressed 140kg, Kurynov 135, then kono lift only the two starting weights in the snatch and c&j, failing 4 attempts. - Moreover in the Light-Heavyweight Paliński won with only 5kg more than Kurynov in the midleweight, and 5kg less than Kono 4 yrs before, 5kg is surely less than what Kono loss falling into the lower class, you have to be lucky... - Then, when we read that Alekseev won 8 World champ in a row, it is counting the olympics golds, Kono did the same, winning the top tournaments 8 times in a row

:: 4/16/2011: Akira Honda, El Cerrito ca, usa
Congratulation on your 80th. Your accomplishments were outstanding. One of your high school lunch gang. Aki

:: 4/13/2011: Joseph Hilbe, Florence AZ, USA
Tommy and I worked together from the Fall of 1976 through mid 1979, establishing a Honolulu City Track and Field team. Tommy was with the city and oversaw the program. He was one of the nicest and caring persons I have ever worked with. He never talked about his accomplishments, unless pressed. A thoroughly humble and nice person. I haven;t seen him in some 32 years now - hard to think of him as 80. Wow. Anyhow, Tommy, if ever read this, I enjoyed working with you on the CETA project and hope that you have many more healthy and happy years ahead. Thank goodness for Google search and Wikipedia - you can locate almost any one nowdays. Your accomplishments will be remembered for hundreds of years among members of the weightlifting community. Congrats on the Hall of Fame. Joe Hilbe

:: 11/14/2010: mystaree key, las vegas united, nevada
who is tommy kono i just heard about him i dont even get the piont of weight lifting

:: 10/20/2010: brian , honolulu HI, UNITED STATES
I am very lucky to currently have him as my mentor. He is very humble, so much so it would be difficult to know how much of a champion he really is. He's my Mr. Miyagi LOL!!!!

:: 5/18/2010: juhani oksman, Mikkeli Finland, Finland
Greetings and congratulations on the forthcoming 80-years anniversary the Tommy Kono. I had late week 50 years ago a meeting of former with classmates. We talked about, when we started weightlifter hobby a couple of early spring 1957 class with a frend, so we had a few examples weightlifter. Tommy Kono was the firsth to have been a double Olympic champion and the other realy did not have.become a favorite on this list since Jaakko Kailajärvi, when he snatched the world record in the summer of 1962.Tommy thank you, for your examples!! Juhani 'Jussi' Oksman (68 years)

:: 11/19/2009: Gioacchino Ricci, Rome , Italy
Well, other than weigtlifter and coach, he is the only olympic weightlifter champion to have been a Mister universe of bodybuilding! I have 3 names on my short list:Kono, Vardanian, Suleymanoglu....and in this order maybe...

:: 8/10/2008: Arthur Chidlovski, Boston , USA
If being a sickly and underweight child did not make Tommy Kono’s early years difficult enough, being interred with his family at the Tule Lake detention camp during WWII (for no other reason than their Japanese ancestry) raised the bar. But during his interment, Tommy took up weight training and thereby started one of the greatest careers in world weightlifting history. A winner of 6 World Championships, 2 Olympic Games (winner of a silver medal in a 3rd), holder of 26 World Records is 4 bodyweight categories, Tommy is on anyone’s short list of the greatest lifters of all time (he has been officially recognized by the International Weightlifting Federation as one of the greatest lifters of all time). As if his record as athlete were not sufficient to preserve his name in weightlifting history, Tommy is perhaps the only coach ever to have coached Olympic Teams from 3 different countries (Germany, Mexico and the US). More recently, he has authored the classic book – “Weightlifting – Olympic-style”. (courtesy of

:: 2/17/2008: Joe Quinn, Tacoma WA, USA
Tommy Kono came and visited with me and my training partner, Sam Bigler, in 1972 when he was coaching the German Olympic team. Great guy who gave back to the sport by coaching; I got his autograph. Joe Q.

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