Yes, you read that right. For all WWE fans who grew up watching Mark Henry, never once could we have imagined that the 'worlds strongest man' would also turn out to be an Olympian. Unlike a lot of other WWE wrestlers who had a combat sport background, Mark Henry competed in weightlifting and was a celebrity during the peak years of his career.
Mark Henry had already begun breaking records by the time he was in 5th grade. He stood at at a height of 5ft 5 inches and was one of the strongest in his school. At the age of 18, he was dubbed the strongest teenager in America after he won the National High School Weightlifting Championships and managed to also become Texas State Champion consecutively.
Henry then made his way to the University of Texas where he focused solely on Olympic weightlifting. He managed to excel in it as well despite the technique being extremely tough to master and this led to him not only achieving second place at the Senior National Powerlifting Championships but also set him on course for Olympic qualification.
He had consecutive top 7 finishes in the National and World Junior Championships. At the age of 19, he represented the US at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics and finished 10th in the superheavyweight class. It was a stellar record for a person his age.
In the subsequent years, he won the US National Weightlifting Championships, US Weightlifting Open and the US Olympic Festival Championships.
Sadly, he suffered a serious injury prior to the 1996 Atalanta Olympics and was unable to perform to his maximum potential. Many fans had expected him to finish on the podium but this was to be his final appearance at the Olympics. Post this, he took up Vince McMahons offer of entering WWF. The rest is of course what we all saw on TV.
To date, he remains the longest and only man to have ever squat more than 900 pounds without assistance and also the youngest to have squat 2300 pounds raw. A representation of how strong the man really is.