Become a Member Find a Course

In Memory of Sir Ben

It is with deep sadness that we have heard of the passing of Sir Ben Helfgott, a revered figure in British Olympic weightlifting and a champion for Holocaust remembrance and education, who passed away at the age of 93. Born on November 22, 1929, in Poland, his remarkable journey in life was marked by resilience, triumph, and an unwavering commitment to making a difference.

In Memory of Sir Ben

Sir Ben Helfgott's early years were marred by the devastating effects of the Holocaust. During this dark period, his beloved parents and younger sister fell victim to the atrocities, forever altering the course of his life. He survived the horrors of the Buchenwald concentration camp and eventually found liberation in Theresienstadt. At a tender age of 15, Sir Ben was brought to England, where he would carve out a legacy that resonated far beyond the realms of sport.

Sir Ben's athletic prowess and indomitable spirit shone brightly in the realm of weightlifting. His dedication and skill earned him the honour of captaining the British Olympic weightlifting team not once, but twice. In 1956, he assumed the role for the Melbourne Olympics, and four years later, he replicated this achievement in Rome, alongside the renowned four-time World Champion, Louis Martin. His impressive career also saw him secure three gold medals in the lightweight division for Great Britain at the Maccabiah Games in 1950, 1953, and 1957, as well as a bronze medal for Team England at the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff.

Beyond his sporting achievements, Sir Ben Helfgott dedicated himself to ensuring that the lessons of the Holocaust were never forgotten. His tireless efforts led to his knighthood in 2018, a well-deserved recognition of his significant contributions to Holocaust remembrance and education. As a motivational speaker for the British Olympic Team prior to the 2012 London Olympics, Sir Ben inspired countless individuals with his compelling life story, resilience, and unwavering determination.

In 2020, he was honoured with a Pride of Britain Award for his exceptional philanthropic endeavours and unwavering commitment to promoting understanding, tolerance, and unity. Moreover, his impact reached the world of sports, as he was inducted into the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, forever etching his name among the greats.

Sir Ben Helfgott's legacy will endure through the lives he touched, the stories he shared, and the hope he instilled in others. He leaves behind a rich tapestry of inspiration, reminding us all of the power of the human spirit to overcome adversity and make a lasting difference.

Sir Ben Helfgott will be deeply missed but fondly remembered as a true champion, both on and off the field, and as a beacon of resilience, compassion, and hope. His memory will continue to inspire generations to come.

Rest in peace.


Never miss the latest news

Click here to read our Privacy Policy


close icon

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more.

Accept and close