O.D Wilson, USA – Strongman Powerlifter

OD WilsonO.D Wilson was born Oders Dell Wilson Jr. to the late Oders Dell “O.D” Sr. and Bessie Mae Wilson on September 12, 1954. “O.D.” Wilson came very close to being the first American since Bill Kazmaier to win the World’s Strongest Man title in 1990. Leading the competition with a comfortable 5½ points before the last event – a 200m race with a 100 kg weight on the back – the very heavy 400 lb Wilson lacked the endurance and running speed to complete the course quickly and ended up losing by just half a point to the much lighter Jón Páll Sigmarsson in the overall. Wilson vowed to win the 1991 World’s Strongest Man title, but a back injury sustained just before the competition, a prolapsed disc, hampered his performance and he finished in fifth place. Wilson was known by the nickname “Nightmare”, as he was an incredibly massive man but he was known for his genial character and big heart.

Wilson spent 12 years in the military, eight of those years spent overseas in Germany, Japan, and Korea.[3] Prior to putting on weight, Wilson was a 200 m track athlete, was a basketball player, boxed for two years in the Army, and was an avid racketball player.[3] When Wilson was not competing he was a security guard and a bodyguard to various celebrities such as Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson.

Wilson was a very successful powerlifter, rising to fame in the mid 1980s. He was a five time U.S. Services champion, and a five time U.S Army title holder.[3] Wilson won the 1988 USPF National Super Heavyweight Powerlifting title, as well as the 1988 IPF World Powerlifting Championships.[3] Some of Wilson’s training partners were also noted World’s Strongest Man competitors including Rick “Grizzly” Brown, Bill Kazmaier and James Perry, who competed in the 1992 World’s Strongest Man.

Wilson set multiple world records throughout his career, at the 1989 Armed Forces Championships, O.D. Wilson squatted 1002, benched 552, and deadlifted 876 pounds for a then, all-time total record of 2430 pounds.[4] Wilson’s weight at that meet was measured at 399 lbs (28.5 St), while his height was measured at 6’8 (204 cm). It is believed he had one of the biggest ever quadriceps, measuring a phenomenal 42 inches. Wilson’s shoes size was 18 and his ring size was 26, while the ring size for the average adult male is between 10 and 12.


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