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Charles Jean Rigoulot (3 November 1903 – 22 August 1962) was a French weightlifter, professional wrestler, racing driver, and actor.

Charles Rigoulot
Charles Rigoulot 1923.jpg
Charles Rigoulot in 1923
Personal information
Born3 November 1903
Le Vésinet, France
Died22 August 1962(1962-08-22) (aged 58)
Paris, France
Height1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Weight82 kg (181 lb)
Charles Rigoulot
Nationality French
24 Hours of Le Mans career
TeamsYves Giraud-Cabantous
Best finishDNF (1937)
Class wins0

As a weightlifter he won the gold medal in the 82.5 kg division at the 1924 Summer Olympics. Between 1923 and 1926 he set eight official world records.[1] In 1924, he became the first person to clean and jerk more than 400 pounds, using the non-revolving barbells of that time. In 1930, he became the first person to complete an overhead lift of the Apollon Railway Car Wheels, an awkwardly-shaped 166 kg (366 lb) barbell-shaped set of train wheels used by the stage strongman Louis Uni, and the predecessor of "Apollon's Axle".[2]

In 1932 Rigoulot turned professional and worked as a strongman in the circus, an actor and singer in the theater.[2] As a professional wrestler he was billed as "l'homme le plus fort dans le monde" ("the strongest man in the world") and had matches with Henri DeGlane and Strangler Lewis. As a driver, he competed in the 1937 Le Mans race.

During World War II he was imprisoned after hitting a Nazi officer.[3] In 1953 he became sports director at the Cognac Distillery Ricard, he died of heart attack in 1962. His daughter Dany Rigoulot became an Olympic figure skater.[2]


Motorsports career resultsEdit

24 Hours of Le Mans resultsEdit


  1. ^ Charles Rigoulot.
  2. ^ a b c Charles Rigoulot.
  3. ^ Wallechinsky, David (2004). The Complete Book of the Summer Olympics, Toronto: Sport Classic Books. ISBN 1-894963-34-2

External linksEdit