Observer

Reinhoudt Earns Hall of Fame Honors

Special to the OBSERVER, Observer Today

No other human being has been as dominant in the world of strength sports as Don Reinhoudt.

Throughout the 1960s and up into the 1980s, Reinhoudt, a 2016 New York State Strength and Power Hall of Fame inductee, was the face of the American strength scene. Reinhoudt has captured virtually every award possible, and a number of others that the best of lifters will never have the opportunity to attain.

Reinhoudt has broken and established so many state, national and world records that the count was lost somewhere in the 300 range. Of course every fan of strength sports remembers Reinhoudt winning the World's Strongest Man Contest, featured on CBS in the late 1970s. However, not many realize that he also won that same title five consecutive years prior to television coverage.

Reinhoudt will be inducted into the New York State Strength and Power Hall of Fame
OBSERVER File Photo

Brocton native Don Reinhoudt will be inducted into the New York State Strength and Power Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016.

To be clear, Reinhoudt won eight consecutive World's Strongest Man competitions, a feat that has never been duplicated. Additionally, and this is before the splits and creation of multi-federations, Reinhoudt was a three-time World Powerlifting Champion and owned the world records in all three events.

Reinhoudt's successes, however, go way beyond the platform. He received the coveted White House Commendation from President Ronald Reagan, was given the keys to the cities of Jamestown and Buffalo, has been inducted into numerous halls of fame, including the World Powerlifting Hall of Fame (1998), International Powerlifting Federation Hall of Fame (1980), Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame (2005), United States Powerlifting Hall of Fame and the Chautauqua County Sports Hall of Fame (1983), and has been featured in every strength magazine of the era.

Reinhoudt is so humble that he asked his friend and fellow Hall of Famer, Bill Clark, to speak on his behalf.

"Don Reinhoudt has been my friend, coach and mentor for years, and I always cherish the opportunity to spend time with him," Clark said. "Don is a true legend and pioneer of strength sports, but the man is much, much more than a mere legacy of numbers. I believe that one can tell much about a person based on the way that he treats others when he is in an advantaged position. Well, when you're 6-foot,3-inches, weigh in excess of 300 pounds, and can pick up automobiles, you are usually in an advantaged position. Nonetheless, Don treats everyone that he meets with the kindness and respect of a foreign dignitary, like they were made of gold.

"The greatest measure of character is not what one takes," Clark added. "It's what one gives, and that is why I firmly state that Don Reinhoudt is a true man of strength and character. With a resume like Don's, he could very easily have marketed himself as a trainer, wrestler, or other money-making showman, but he chose to serve the public by working for Chautauqua County. For decades, Don Reinhoudt worked with the youth of the state, helping kids to see their own potential for greatness. That example is the essence of character. More than that, Don's love for God is evidently clear and abundant, and he still, to this day, sets an example for all of us to follow."

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