The Rocky Balboa of Weightlifting? Precious McKenzie!

This man (Height 4’11”) has had a color ful life. Britain’s greatest hope for an international title in the fledgling sport of Powerlifting.

McKenzie was born in South Africa in 1936, he was less than 2 years of age when his father was killed by a crocodile on the Limpopo river. He became ill with pneumonia at an eraly age, and suffered a huge abscess on his chest which doctors could do nothing about. He was released from the hospital labeled as ‘incurable,’ and his mother became unable to afford the expense of caring for him. Adulthood came quickly as he shifted from one foster home to another, but physical size did not, perhaps because of the lingering sore on his chest and it’s effect on his health. He bears the scars of the ravaging disease to this day.

Precious McKenzie weightlifting

His interest in strength and other physical pursuits led to a desire to become a circus acrobat, but in training for that activity he was introduced to weightlifting and his course was set for the next 30 years. He trained on the Olympic lifts and trained hard, and quickly became the outstanding Olympic lifter in the country of South Africa.

mckenzie precious weightlifting training

He is quite small, being only 4’11” tall, but he is an outstanding all-around strongman, as these photos show. One of his favortie exercise is the hand stand dips; another is the one arm chin in which he does 5 perfect chins. He also peforms the flag, quite easy!

Regrettably, that nation’s apartheid policies kept Precious from competing for his nation in international competitions with his white teammates, and this led to Precious’ emigration to England .
1964 he arrived in England with his wife, and settled in Northampton. This was to be their home for the next three years. Throughout this period he trained at the Northampton Weightlifting Club.

He continued his Olympic lifting and had an extraordinary career, highlighted by 4 Games Gold Medals. He traveled all over the world: Jamaica, Berlin, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, the United States, Bulgaria, Munich, Cuba, Canada, etc. He made friends such notables as Princess Anne, Muhammed Ali and others.

He won the British Nationals in 1966 123lb 400lb squat, 275lb in bench and 425lb deadlift for a total 1100.

Precious McKenzie is a weightlifter, powerlifter, acrobat, bodybuilder and hard working man. But above all he is a happy family man, who gives of his best no matter what the occasion.

Powerlifting accomplishments

precious McKenzie powerlifting results

Bodybuilding accomplishments

1971
Mr World – AAU, Short, 4th

1972
Mr World – AAU, 12th
Mr World – AAU, Short, 3rd

1973
Mr World – AAU, 22nd

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