Naim Süleymanoğlu

Naim Süleymanoğlu | Quick Facts

Full Name Naim Süleymanoğlu
Nickname Not Known
Birthdate January 23, 1967
Death Date November 18, 2017
Death place Istanbul, Turkey
Birthplace Pitcher, Kardzhali Province, Bulgaria
Nationality Turkish
Body Bodybuilder
Years Active 1982-2000
Retired 2000
Father Not Known
Mother Not Known
Siblings Not Known
Eye color Black
Hair Colour Brown
Profession Weightlifting
Olympics Participation 1998
Alternative Profession Not Known
Height< 4 ft 10 in (1.47 m)
Weight 62 kg (137 lb)
Events 56 kg (1983), 60 kg (1985–1992), 64 kg (1993–1996), 62 kg (2000)
Representation Bulgaria
Relationship Un-Married
Rumored with Kyoto Mori
No. of children 3
Net worth $1 million – $5 million
Social Media Not Available

Naim Süleymanoğlu was a Turkish Olympic weightlifter. He was a seven-time World Weightlifting winner and a three-time Olympic gold medalist, who set multiple world records.

Additionally, he is broadly considered the finest pound-for-pound Olympic weightlifter of all time. Naim is also one of the most prominent Olympic weightlifters ever.

Moreover, in 2000 and 2004, he was elected as a member of the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame.

Süleymanoğlu is the primary and only weightlifter to have snatched 2.5 times his body weight. In addition, the second of all, the seven lifters could clean and jerk their body weight three times.

Here are some quick facts about the amazing weightlifter:

Early Life of Naim Süleymanolu

Süleymanolu was born and raised in Ptichar, Kardzhali Province, Bulgaria, to a family of Turkish descent (Bulgarian: аим леманoв, romanized: Naim Syulemanov).

The weightlifter’s mother was four-foot-seven inches tall, while his miner father was only five feet tall. In his teen years, Naim won numerous championships. During the Summer Olympics in 1984, he was the clear favorite to win the gold medal. Furthermore, Bulgaria had not participated in the Eastern Bloc’s boycott.

The Revival Process initiative was conducted in Bulgaria in the 1980s. As a result, the program prohibited speaking their languages and forced ethnic minorities to adopt Slavic names.

Süleymanolu was forced to change his name in 1985 to Naum Shalamanov (Bulgarian: аум аламанов) as a result. After these events, he made the decision to leave Bulgaria while maintaining an encrypted connection with the Turkish Squad.


Naim Süleymanolu | Characteristics

Suleymanoglu was renowned for both his competitive mental approach and dramatic talent.

Suleymanglou frequently sat still offstage while agreeing to a writer for the Searle Post-Intelligencer, skipping his turn to lift. Competitors, on the other hand, tried to lift enormous quantities of weight to defeat them.

After that, when everyone was worn out, Suleymanoglu would stroll onto the platform, request that the bar be given extra weight, and then effortlessly lift it while defeating everyone.

Suleymanoglu quit from the competition after receiving his third gold medal in Atlanta and basked in his fame and wealth for a very long time.

He appeared in Turkish daily newspapers as frequently as possible, where ludicrous tales about his crazy lifestyle were published.

Nevertheless, he made the decision to make a return and participate in the 2000 Olympic Games in 1999. He so spent nearly a year preparing for the fair, which took place recently at the Diversions, in the hopes of winning an unusual fourth gold medal.

Early Career | Naim Süleymanolu

The Bulgarian authorities had to consent to transfer his qualification to Turkey for him to be eligible to compete in the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

Additionally, the Turks gave Bulgaria $1.25 million in exchange for his release. His main rival at the Olympics was Stefan Topurov, an old comrade from the Bulgarian squad.

After all other participants had finished and made three consecutive lifts, he entered the competition for the grab portion, and in his final two lifts, he broke world records.

After Süleymanolu, Topurov completed a 175.0 kg clean and jerk in the clean and jerk category. Süleymanolu won his first Olympic gold medal and two more world records with his next two lifts.

He finished with a clean and jerk of 190.0 kg, which was 3.15 times his body weight and the highest pure and pull to body weight ratio of all time.

The weightlifter’s performance at the 1988 Seoul Olympics was the most dominant weightlifting effort ever, according to the Sinclair coefficient.

Sports Career

Naim’s total was high enough to surpass his and win the weight class. After winning the world title in 1989 at the age of 22, the weightlifter announced his retirement.

Naim, however, made a comeback to sports in 1991 and went on to win a second Olympic gold medal in Barcelona in 1992 as well as a third in Atlanta in 1996.

Naim Süleymanolu performed his last lifting at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.

He resigned after winning a third consecutive Olympic gold medal in Atlanta at the 1996 Olympic Games since those events were to be his last.

The duel between him and Greek Valerios Leonidis, in which the field was divided into partisan Turkish and Greek spectators, made that competition renowned.

They exchanged three straight world records to become the last two athletes standing after the competition; Süleymanolu was in charge of lifting 187.5 kg.

Following that, Leonidis’ effort to lift 190 kilos failed, earning him the silver medal.

You have just witnessed the greatest weightlifting competition of all time, said announcer Lynn Jones, referring to Ken Jones in the London Independent.

Süleymanolu made another comeback in a late attempt to earn a fourth gold decoration in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

It would have broken a record at the Olympics. Sadly, Süleymanolu failed to make any progress after three attempts at 145 kg and was disqualified.

Hall of Famer Naim Süleymanolu

In 2001, the weightlifter was also given the Olympic Order. In 2000 and 2004, he was chosen as a member of the Worldwide Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame.

He ran as an independent in the 1999 general elections. Additionally, he represented Bursa at the Turkish Grand National Gathering.

Naim ran as the Patriot Development Party’s candidate for mayor of the Kraç municipality in the Büyükçekmece district of Istanbul Province in the year 2002.

In 2006, he acted as counsel for the same party in court proceedings. Sadly, he failed miserably in each of these attempts.

Olympic gold medalist Naim Süleymanoglu

Suleymanoglu competed for the gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

The first competitor was the Greek weightlifter Valerios Leonidas. As a result, they engaged in a fierce competition that saw each of them break a world record.

Furthermore, Leonidas outlifted Suleymanoglu, who set a world record of 185 kg, with 187.5 kg.

Suleymanoglu was currently responsible for organizing Leonidas’ lift of the gold. And within minutes of the world record being established, he tied it with Leonidas.

In agreement with Insight Jones in the London Free, commentator Lynn Jones observed, “You’ve fair watched the most notable weightlifting competition in history.”

With this gold medal, Suleymanoglu became the only weightlifter in history to win gold at three different Olympics.

Naim Süleymanoğlu | Acheivements

  • 1967: Born in Bulgaria(Kigali)
  • 1977: Went to a training school
  • 1982: first world record by Naim
  • 1984: He missed the Olympic Games because of his country’s boycott
  • 1986: Defects from Bulgaria to Turkey
  • 1988: Wins gold medal at Seoul Olympics
  • 1990: Retires but soon returns to competition
  • 1992: Wins gold medal at Barcelona Olympics
  • 1996: Wins gold medal at Atlanta Olympics
  • 2000: He competes in Sydney Olympics but fails in all his attempts to lift
  • 2000: Retires from competition

Naim Süleymanoglu | Life & Relationships

Süleymanoğlu never married. The legendary weightlifter has liver failure caused by cirrhosis. As a result, he was admitted to an Istanbul hospital. Then he died at age 50.

However, he does have four children, all daughters. Although the details about their birth and mothers aren’t known, Naim is their father.

His daughters are: Esin Süleymanoğlu, Sezin Süleymanoğlu, Nilay Süleymanoğlu, and Sekai Mori. Although Sekai Mori wasn’t considered one of his children before 2018, some DNA tests showed that she is indeed the late champion’s daughter.

The athlete was nicknamed “Pocket Hercules” due to his short stature personality. Finally, he became a global personality after winning six world championship records, bringing home three Olympic gold awards.

Not only that, he gained popularity by lifting the legendary winner of the weight class above him at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.

Then he got retired at the age of 22 after winning the world championship in 1988.

Naim Süleymanoglu | Death & Aftermath Controversy

However, he had cirrhosis of the liver for a long time. Finally, in 2009, he was in the clinic for about three months.

On October 6, he went through liver transplantation when a liver donor was found. After that, on November 11, he had surgery due to bleeding within the brain and subsequent edema.

Therefore, he passed on November 18, 2017. He was buried at the Edirnekapı Martyr’s Cemetery in Istanbul.

After his passing, a motion picture about his life and career, Cep Herkülü: Naim Süleymanoğlu. Finally, the movie was released in Turkey on November 22, 2019.

A Japanese lady claimed after his passing that she had a girl Sekai Mori with him. She then recorded a paternity case at a Turkish court.

Consequently, Süleymanoğlu’s grave was opened on July 4, 2018, to require a DNA sample. Likewise, a DNA test affirmed her claim. He moreover had three girls with a Turkish woman.

Naim Süleymanoglu | Net worth

The weightlifter has also built an impressive wealth amount through all his years throughout his career.

In addition, since the start of his career, Naim has had a net worth ranging from $1 Million – $5 Million. Thus, he is one of the most wealthy athletes. Hence, his expected net worth is over $5 million.

Subsequently, he earns more than a million as an annual salary. Besides that, the athlete made a fair amount through his sponsorship deals.

As a result, many well-known brands and companies frequently endorse the player.

Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)

How did Naim Süleymanoğlu die?

Bulgarian-born Süleymanoğlu, the humble “pocket Hercules,” passed away in November 2018, a month after experiencing liver transplant surgery. The 50-year-old had been suffering from cirrhosis for a long time.

Who is known as Pocket Hercules?

Naim Suleymanoglu, a Turkish weight lifter whose minute estimate and shocking quality earned him the nickname Pocket Hercules on his way to winning three continuous Olympic gold awardspassed on Saturday in Istanbul.

You may also like: Tim Brant