1960 Rome Olympics Weightlifting Silver Medal Awarded to "World's Strongest Man"
As in a famous epic of antiquity, this replacement silver medal earned at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome went on an odyssey before making its way home. Earned by Isaac Berger for Weightlifting at the Summer Games, the medal was given by the dutiful Berger to his mother. Berger's mother then gave the medal, along with another won at the 1964 Olympics, to his blind brother, but both were stolen and never recovered. In its stead, the United States Olympic Committee had replacements made for him, and the new medals were returned to their rightful owner. The medal is made of silver, with an outside ring engraved with "Sollevamento Pesi," which translates to "Weight Lifting." The original manufacturers of the 1960 medals, Stabilimenti Artistici Fiorentini, are represented on the back with a raised inscription that reads "Stab. Artistici Fiorentini Firenze." The medal is exceedingly rare, as only two from the 1960 games have been offered to the public recently. Born in Israel, Berger holds 23 world weightlifting records and was a 12-time United States National titleholder. In 1965, he was named to the United States Weightlifting Hall of Fame and in 1980, he was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. A three-time medalist, his 1964 Olympic record of 336 pounds in the jerk, at a body weight of 130 pounds, made him pound-for-pound the strongest man in the world. The medal comes with a Letter of Authentication.