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Bill Kazmaier, a gifted high school athlete, went on to play football for 2 years at the University of Wisconsin–Madison before dropping out in 1974 to focus on weight lifting. After leaving school, Bill struggled to earn a living as an oil rigger, a bouncer, and a lumberjack; but continued to pursue his passion for powerlifting.
In January, 1981, Bill competed at the USPF West Georgia Open Powerlifting Championships, in Columbus, Georgia. It was there that Bill became the first human to bench press 300 kg (661.4 lbs.) and recorded his lifetime-best, three-lift-total of 2425 lbs— a powerlifting world record that remained unsurpassed for more than a decade. His winning lifts were: a 925.9 lbs squat, 661.4 lbs bench press and 837.8 lbs deadlift.
Bill held the title of “World’s Strongest Man” in 1980, 1981 and 1982. However, beginning in 1981, his career was slowly derailed by injuries. Bill was forced to look beyond weight lifting and he began traveling the United States to inspire children to live healthier lives. To this day, Bill encourages kids to be active in sports, ride their bikes, and eat healthy. “I challenge young people to dare to dream; to try to see themselves as a champion,” Bill said. “Try to develop a plan to become an achiever, an over-comer; to strive to be victorious in whatever they do.” – adapted from Star News Online