Weight lifter, world weightlifting champion. He was born in the Atahlı village of Mestanlı which is now located in the territory of Bulgaria Kardzhali region on January 23rd, 1967. (B. 23 January, Bulgaria -D. 18 November 2017, Istanbul). He began the sport of weightlifting at an early age. He quickly stood out with his exceptional talent. He won the World Junior Championship in 52 kilos when he was just 15 years old. It was followed by other successes. Due to the assimilation applications launched against the Turks by Bulgarians at that time, he escaped from the hotel during the tournament in Australia he went with the Bulgarian national team and took refuge in the Embassy of Turkey to and came to the homeland.
Naim Süleymanoglu, who is the most brilliant name of the Turkish weightlifting history, has reached a worldwide reputation by winning the championships many times for Turkey. He has won international epithets such as “The Pocket Hercule”, “the most powerful athlete in 100 years”, “The only weightlifter who can lift three times his body weight”.
He received the honor of being the first and only winner of three Olympic medals with his championship in the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. He won 3 Olympic, 22 World, 22 Europe, 3 Mediterranean Games championships in his successful weightlifting life and he broke the World Record in 46 different categories.
Before he took refugee in the homeland, Naim Süleymanoğlu won the championships under the Bulgarian uniform in 1982 World Junior (snatch, clean and jerk, and total), 1983 World Junior (breakout), 1983 World Junior (total championships in second place with a clean and jerk), 1984 World Cup (snatch, clean and jerk and total), 1985 Europe (snatch, clean and jerk and total), 1986 World (snatch, clean and jerk and total) Championships.