By Osmo Kiiha
Jim Bradford is one of the all-time best American Olympic Lifters and is arguably the best pure presser ever.
It has been said by many that if Jim can just clean it, he WILL press it. In training, Jim once pressed 440 (from bottom press position without cleaning the weight.) He is also one of the greatest sportsmen to compete in any sport. Jim gave up his last attempt clean & jerk at the 1951 World Championships, in Milan, Italy because he was afraid the injured John Davis would attempt more weight and cause permanent damage to his leg. James Bradford gave away the World Heavyweight Championship title to help his friend, it was one of the finest acts of sportsmanship ever witnessed. He was a member of the York Barbell Club, was coached by Bob Hoffman and was a teammate of Davis, Tommy Kono et al. during the “glory days” of American Weightlifting.
[ PHOTO ABOVE ] Jim Bradford - Yury Vlasov - Norbert Schemansky - 1960
Jim started lifting weights in 1944 and competed as a Heavyweight.
A list of his major championships include:
- 1950 Jr. National Champion – first place
- 1951 World Weightlifting Championship – second place
- 1952 Olympic Games – silver medal
- 1953 National YMCA WL Championships – first place
- 1954 World Weightlifting Championships – second place
- 1955 World Weightlifting Championships – second place
- 1959 World Weightlifting Championships – second place
- 1960 Senior National WL Championships – first place
- 1960 Olympic Games – silver medal
- 1961 Senior National WL Championships – first place
Jim retired from competitive lifting 1961.
Best all time lifts made at the 1960 Olympic games:
- Press – 396 3/4
- Snatch – 330 1/2
- Clean & Jerk – 402 1/4
- Total – 1129 3/4
Bodyweight: 286 pounds.
Born - Nov 1. 1928
Died - Sept 13. 2013
Jim was 84 when he died.