Tommy Kono Weightlifting Tamio “Tommy” Kono’s 91st Birthday, Google Doodle
Today, the search engine Google has shared an interactive Google doodle and celebrating the Tamio “Tommy” Kono’s 91st Birthday, who is Japanese-American coach, Olympic gold-medalist athlete, and world-champion bodybuilder and regarded as one of the greatest weightlifters in United States history.
Tamio “Tommy” Kono was born on June 27, 1930, who is an American weightlifter in the 1950s and 1960s. Kono set world records in four different weight classes: lightweight (149 pounds or 67.5 kilograms), middleweight (165 lb or 75 kg), light-heavyweight (182 lb or 82.5 kg), and middle-heavyweight (198 lb or 90 kg).
Birth name Tamio Kono
Born June 27, 1930
Sacramento, California, U.S.
Died April 24, 2016 (aged 85)
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
Height 167 cm (5 ft 6 in)
Weight 67–81 kg (148–179 lb)
Sport Olympic weightlifting
Event(s) Clean and press
Clean and jerk
Turned pro 1952
Kono was born in Sacramento, California, on June 27, 1930. His family was of Japanese descent, and were relocated to Tule Lake internment camp in 1942 during World War II. Sickly as a child, the desert air helped Kono’s asthma. It was during the relocation that Kono was introduced to weightlifting by neighbors including Noboru “Dave” Shimoda, a member of the Tule Lake weightlifting and bodybuilding club and brother of actor Yuki Shimoda, and his friends, Gotoh, Toda, and Bob Nakanishi. After 3½ years they were released and Kono finished Sacramento High School. He later worked for the California Department of Motor Vehicles and attended Sacramento Junior College.
Kono was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1950 but was kept home from the Korean War after officials learned of his Olympic potential.
Kono won his first Olympic gold medal in the lightweight division that same year at the Helsinki Summer Games. This began a winning streak that crescendoed at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games when he won the light-heavyweight competition—his final Olympic gold medal. He has made 26 world records
Happy birthday, Tommy Kono, and thank you for using your strength to lift not just weights, but those around you.