Winners: Doug Hepburn, Weightlifting

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Doug Hepburn lifts two women simultaneously

Doug Hepburn displaying his strength by lifting two women - Sky Grinfields (left) and Carrole Miniato (right) on his shoulders.
Collection:Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

1953 - Feature Story

No one knew exactly how strong Doug Hepburn was, but they all knew Hepburn could perform feats no other man could match. He could hold a 45-pound weight at arm’s length -- with only his pinkie finger. Hepburn paid his own way to the World Weightlifting Championships in Stockholm, Sweden, and as Canada’s only representative, he won the heavyweight title with a world-record lift of 363 pounds in the clean and jerk.  He handed U.S. and Olympic champion John Davis his first defeat in competition since 1938. Returning home to Vancouver, Hepburn became the first man in the world to bench-press 500 pounds. It would be one of the eight documented world records set by a man born with a deformed right foot on which corrective surgery failed. Subsequent surgery fused his ankle bones, but even that diminished flexibility couldn’t restrict Hepburn’s legendary power.

Career Highlights

  • 1954 Gold medallist in Heavyweight Weightlifting at the British Empire Games in Vancouver, Canada
  • 1953 World Weightlifting Champion in the heavyweight division in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • 1953 Lou Marsh Memorial Award
  • 1953 Lionel Conacher Award (Canada’s male athlete of the year)
  • 1949 United States National Open Champion
Signed image of Doug Hepburn posing for the camera

Signed portrait of Doug Hepburn.
Date: 1953
Collection: Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

Doug Hepburn lifts weights over his head in competition

Doug Hepburn competing in a weightlifting tournament.
Date: 1954
Collection: Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Doug Hepburn lifting weights over his head

Doug Hepburn posing while lifting weights. He is wearing a weightlifting uniform with a crest of the Amateur Athletic Union on it.
Date: 1953
Collection: Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

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