In sad news coming out of Canada this week, Canadian Weightlifting legend Robert “Bob” Santavy has passed away; he was 70 years old.
Between 1967 and 1978, he qualified and lifted in two Commonwealth Games, two Pan-Am Games, and two Olympic Games for Canada. Santavy competed in the 90kg, 100kg, and 110kg weight categories. His best lifts at any bodyweight were 155kg in the snatch and 205kg in the clean & jerk.
He won a silver medal in the 1970 Commonwealth Games where he totaled 425KG between all three competition lifts (snatch, clean & jerk, and press) in the 90KG category, as well as a bronze medal at the 1978 commonwealth games in the 100KG category where he totaled 315KG – after the sport moved into its current iteration of two competition lifts. At the 1975 Pan Am Games, he won a bronze medal in the 110KG category.
In his post athletic career, he was instrumental in coaching and advancing the sport of Olympic Weightlifting in Canada. Bob had two children, who both followed in his footsteps. His daughter, Bobbi–June, became one of the first successful female lifters in Canada. She was setting Canadian Weightlifting records before woman’s weightlifting records were officially recognized. They helped pave the way for the success that Canada has had in recent years at the international level, including, but by no means limited to an Olympic Gold medal in 2012 for Christine Girard. His son Dalas represented Canada in two Commonwealth Games and two Pan-Am Games, and placed 23rd at the 2005 Senior World Championships.
Three of Dalas’ children (and Bob’s grandchildren) are seasoned national and international weightlifting athletes in their own regards. Noah Santavy competed at the 2017 Junior World Championships in the 77KG category, while his older brother Boady was 6th overall in the 94KG category at the 2017 Senior World Championships and won a silver medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Fourteen-year-old Alana has qualified for the Canadian Junior and Senior National Championships.
Bob Santavy passed away on June 13th in Sarnia, Ontario, and leaves behind two children and seven grandchildren.
Featured image from @dalassantavy on Instagram