Tommy Kono

The Life of America’s Greatest Weightlifter

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About the Book

In a career spanning three decades, weightlifter Tommy Kono won three Olympic medals and eight world championships, captured 11 U.S. national and three Pan-American titles, and set 26 world records—all before the advent of steroids. A Nisei American, Kono was interned at Tule Lake, California during World War II. Weighing 105 pounds at age 14 and suffering from asthma, he began competing at a time of heightened racial and political prejudice against Asians, and in an era predating modern coaching techniques, nutritional aids and training facilities. This definitive biography covers the life and career of an exceptional athlete who defied disadvantage and achieved international renown.

About the Author(s)

John D. Fair is a retired professor of history from Auburn University and Georgia College, and currently an adjunct professor of kinesiology at the Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports at the University of Texas, Austin. He is the author of seven books.

Bibliographic Details

John D. Fair
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 65 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8958-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4727-2
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

“Tommy Kono was one of the most influential figures in American weightlifting. With an origin story fit for a Hollywood blockbuster, Kono was a dominant weightlifter who later became a highly recognised coach. With the typical depth and empathy we have come to expect, John Fair provides a much-needed and insightful biography, his tenacity for research and love of weightlifting combining in a work that will no doubt become a classic in the field of sport history. For fans and academics alike, Fair has provided a thought-provoking account of one of America’s greatest weightlifters. Only John Fair could do Kon’s story justice.”—Conor Heffernan, lecturer in the sociology of sport, Ulster University