Mario Martinez, Three-Time Olympian and 1984 Silver Medalist, Passes Away At 60

With heavy hearts we report on the passing of Mario Martinez, one of America’s most decorated weightlifters of the past 40 years. USA Weightlifting and Martinez’s long-time coach, Jim Schmitz, both announced his passing on Sunday.

Martinez was born on July 6, 1957 in Salinas, Califronia, and had his initial brush with weightlifting at a rather young age. After seeing the 1972 Olympic team coached by weightlifting legend Schmitz in California, Martinez soon found himself smitten with the Olympic dream.

Fast forward some years later, and Martinez found himself on the platform being coached by Schmitz at the age of 16 where he snatched 107.5kg at a bodyweight of 80kg. His career lasted over 20 years, and throughout this time Martinez would break many American records, while also earning a considerable number of medals. In fact, to this day Martinez still holds the accolade of being the last American male to medal at an Olympics, which he did in 1984 with his silver medal.

Check out Martinez’ silver medal performance at the 1984 Olympics Games below.

Throughout his career, Martinez competed in three Olympic Games (1984, 1988, and 1992), along with medaling at multiple Pan Am Games, which included a gold in 1987. At a national level, Martinez was a dominate force and a 10-time national champion.

On top of his multiple career medals, Martinez held the American snatch, clean & jerk, and total records for many years before having them broken by Shane Hamman. And in addition to the medals and records, Martinez was named USA Weightlifting’s Lift of the Year four times throughout his career.

Image courtesy Jim Schmitz Facebook page.

Martinez will be remembered as one of America’s most decorated weightlifters. With heavy hearts we send our condolences to his family and loved ones.

Feature image from Jim Schmitz Facebook page. 

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as the Fitness and Training Editor at BarBend.

He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand.

As of right now, Jake has published over 1,200 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter.

On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.

Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and a personal trainer the three years before that, and most recently he was the content writer at The Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office.

Jake competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a professional knee rehabber after tearing his quad squatting in 2017. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in New York City.

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