Tommy Kono Posthumously
Inducted into Sacramento Sports HOF
Tommy was on the nomination list
since the Sports Hall of Fame was formed in his hometown seven years ago, but failed to garner enough votes until
2019, three years after his death at 85. This was standard
operating procedure for Kono who was better known overseas than in the United States where team sports take
precedence. Beyond being named "Weightlifter of the Century" by
the International Weightlifting Federation in 2005, two other
events illustrate the gap in recognition at home and away.
He had been to Russia 5 times
during the "cold war" and traveled to Moscow in 1958 to compete
in the first "Prize of Moscow" tournament. Kono was the only
American lifter invited to compete. With no coach, teammates or
anyone to assist and translate for him backstage--against 7 other lifters, 5
of which were Soviet Union world record holders or Olympic gold
medalists--he won anyway!
The other illustration is closer
One of the greatest tributes Kono
felt bestowed on him was to be recognized by the city of York,
Pennsylvania, considered the Mecca of the weightlifting world. A
27 by 20 foot mural painted on the side of a 3-story
building had a painting of Bob Hoffman on the left side, John
Grimek on the right side, and Kono in the middle. Hoffman,
founder of the famous York Barbell Company, and Grimek, a
legendary bodybuilder, both resided in the York area. Kono had
been to York many times but never lived there.
Muscletown USA recognized Kono as a member of the
Kono was the best of the best on
and off the weightlifting platform. In the course of winning six
world championships and two Olympic Gold Medals, he became the
only weightlifter in history to set world records in four
different weight classes. He also won the Mr. World physique
title in 1954 and the Mr. Universe title in 1955, 1957, and
1961. He went on to coach the Mexican, West German and U.S.
Olympic teams, in 1968, 1972 and 1976, respectively.
Kono mastered the art of physique
display, as he did everything he attempted.
Photo courtesy of Tommy Kono
* * *
Tommy would not utter a word
about the unfathomable delay in his induction.
He would thank his supporters for
sticking with his nomination, and join his wife, Florence, and
their family in expressing their gratitude:
We are grateful to the fans of
the sport of weightlifting for their support and remembrance of
him. It is very special that his hometown of Sacramento has
bestowed this honor upon him.
March 1, 2019
Why Full-Fat Milk Is Booming
The above is a headline in the October
1, 2018, issue of TIME magazine. Carol read the article aloud,
to my delight.
Could they be logging on to this
website? Probably not, but it is very good news.
After some positive marketing details, the
magazine gets to the scientific underpinnings.
While the U.S. dietary
guidelines still recommend low- or no-fat dairy, new research
suggests that full-fat dairy may be a healthy choice... People
who eat full-fat dairy are no more likely to develop heart
disease than those who eat low-fat versions, and may even be
less prone to Type 2 diabetes and weight gain--probably because
they stay full longer. Studies have also found that people who
cut their fat intake tend to replace the missing calories with
unhealthy refined carbohydrates.
"The research that has been
evolving and has been in the general press has given consumers
permission to choose products they like," a spokesmen for the
International Dairy Foods Association told TIME.
A longtime friend, a competitive
bodybuilder, told us that he'd been drinking skim milk for so
long that whole milk tasted like ice cream--and didn't smooth
out his cuts.
It's good to know that the
mainstream media is catching up:
Last year and the year before,
the big supermarket down the street from the Cooper Clinic only had one brand of whole milk and it
seemed to be in hiding. Perhaps it will be different when I go back next year.
December 1, 2018
Austrian Podcast Interviews
Oh my! What's left to
talk about? That's what we thought when we sat down to listen to
the new podcast. Austrian professional sport climber Jurgen Reis
has interviewed Clarence ten times since he visited here for the
first time in 2007. The last podcast was in January of this
We were pleasantly surprised.
Clarence has been finding something new to write about every
month since he started his RIPPED column in Muscle &
Fitness in 1980. Jurgen finds new topics in every podcast.
Successful training routines are
constantly evolving. Clarence looks for
new ways to challenge his body in every workout.
When Jurgen asked what's new,
Clarence began by explaining why he decided to stop doing the foothills
workout on Sundays. His resting heart on his
Fitbit told him that he was not fully recovering for his Tuesday
From there, Jurgen said that he
has stopped writing books for the time being, and asked if
Clarence is thinking about a new book. Clarence said
he thinks of his updates as gathering new material every month.
No new book until he has a theme that excites him.
That opened the gate for many new
topics to discuss.
When the time expired, Jurgen said he
couldn't wait for the next interview, that he wanted to continue
on and on, that there would always be something new to talk about. No limits!
The Podcast is # 676. You
won't be disappointed. English begins at minute 19:
You'll find Jurgen's story in our
"Fitness Personalities" category:
Here's a message from him along with a recent photo by Andreas
This photo of me this summer
was taken just before my 42nd birthday. Normal training day – no
special preparation done. I had the same bodyweight as when I
Reading Clarence Bass’ books
about two decades ago and visiting him and Carol three times
were some of the best things I've done in my life. My American
Grandpa (that’s how I call him sometimes) taught me much more
than “just” how to stay in shape.
For everybody looking for a
REAL mentor in all aspects of fit and passionate living, I
highly recommend his endless knowledge.
Oftentimes I ask myself “What
would Clarence do?” I don't always do it, but it shapes my
Thank you Clarence and Carol
for everything you gave me and your patience with me!
Jürgen Reis, Professional
Climber from Austria
Photo: © 2018 by Andreas Kempter
September 1, 2018
Laszlo Photo of Clarence
Early this month we were
surprised to take delivery of a photo Laszlo took of Clarence at
75 holding a kettlebell at his side. It was enlarged and
carefully wrapped. We were surprised and pleased to learn that it hung for a month at an art
gallery in Sacramento.
Here's the story in Laszlo's
Every year the Viewpoint
Photographic Art Gallery in Sacramento encourages its members to
enter a juried exhibition based on a theme. In 2017 the theme
was “Balance.” Some years before I had photographed Clarence
holding a kettlebell with his muscular and veined arm. It
epitomized the raw power and strength of a dedicated lifter.
When I took a second look at this picture I remembered it also
takes plenty of balance to lift a kettlebell, the clumsiest item
in the weightlifter's repertoire. Clearly the judge agreed and
selected it for the exhibition.
Our task was to find an
appropriate place of honor in Clarence's office at Ripped
Enterprises. Carol found a tripod to make it stand out from the
many other photos already there. Here it is on top of a book
case balanced between two Herculean sculptures.
Laszlo is pleased--and so are we.
September 1, 2018