Berger is a three-time World Featherweight Weightlifting
winner of three Olympic medals, owner
of 23 world weightlifting records,
and 12-time United States national
The son of a rabbi and himself an
ordained cantor, Berger was the first
featherweight in history to lift more
than 800 pounds and the first to press
double his body weight.
In the Featherweight class at the
1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne,
Berger won the gold medal with a lift of
776.5 pounds (352.5 kgs). Four years
later, he took a silver at the Rome
Olympiad (798.75 pounds, 362.6 kgs.).
And in 1964 at the Tokyo Games, he
again won the Featherweight class silver
at 841.5 pounds (382.5 kgs.).
His 1964 Olympic record
pounds in the jerk, at a bodyweight of
130 pounds, made him pound-forpound
the strongest man in the world,
a record that stood for nine years. He
was undefeated in six competitions
against the Soviet Union.
Competing in the Fifth Maccabiah
Games in 1957, the year after winning
his Olympic gold medal, Berger became
the first athlete to establish a
World record in the State of Israel,
pressing 258 pounds (117.1 kgs.) in
In 1965, Ike Berger was elected to
the United States Weightlifters Hall of