1980s1984 L A OlympicsABCcurt gowdyJim McKayOlympicsOther SportsWeightlifting

Olympics – 1984 Los Angeles – Weightlifting – Super Heavywts – AUS Dean Lukin & USA Mario Martinez


Mario Alvarez Martinez was an Olympic weightlifter for the United States….having been coached by Jim Schmitz.  Martinez was born and raised on a ranch in Salinas, California….where at a young age would strength train under a tree with a non-revolving exercise bar and weights. He would tie some of these weights on the bar with just a rope so that they would stay on while he would lift. Martinez was so strong that he eventually began bending all of his bars because of all the weight he load on….so, he would then take a hammer…..bending the bars back into place to straighten them…then continue on with his training.  

Martinez’s lifting career in Olympic weightlifting lasted for over 23 years. Throughout his career, he earned himself 10 national championships….3 Olympics competition including a silver medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Games…..and a 4th-place finish at the 1988 Seoul Games….3 Pan Am medals….while he was the first American to snatch over 400 lb and clean & jerk over 500 lb in competition. Martinez had very rough training techniques. He was well known for his bent-arm pulling style….for when he would rack his cleans….only his finger tips would be on the bar….as he had to re-grip for the jerk…..so, when his hands were to slip off….he would have to grab the bar again.

Dinko “Dean” Lukin is a retired weightlifter from Australia….who won the gold medal in the Super Heavyweight category at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics….as he carried the Australian flag during the closing ceremony of the 1984 games…..remaining as Australia’s only Olympic gold medalist for weightlifting. He also saw success in the Commonwealth Games….winning gold medals in the super heavyweight division of the 1982 Brisbane games and the 1986 Edinburgh games.

In a press conference following his 1984 Olympic gold medal….Lukin reportedly told assembled journalists that instead of focusing upon his victory….they should assemble for the disabled games and show those competitors as much time and respect as they had shown him. This was because their achievements were “far greater than mine.”  In a bid to get healthier during the late 1990s, Lukin went on a diet and lost a lot of the weight that made him one of the top Super Heavyweight weightlifters in the world, claiming that his waist was now the size that his upper thighs were during the 1984 Olympic Games.  Lukin was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985.

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