About Ken Patera
November 06, 1942
|Place of Birth||:||Portland, Oregon, USA|
|Imdb Profile||:||IMDB Profile|
Kenneth Wayne Patera is an American retired professional wrestler, Olympic weightlifter, and strongman competitor from the United States. Ken Patera, from a Czech-American family, was strong and extraordinarily athletic, with many people in his family also successful in athletics. His brother, Jack Patera, played football for the Baltimore Colts and was the head coach for the Seattle Seahawks from 1976 until 1982. His brother, Dennis Patera, played for the San Francisco 49ers. Ken played football at Cleveland High School in Portland, Oregon, and wrestled at 193 pounds. Track and field was his first love, however, and he competed in the high hurdles and high jump, but a serious ankle injury forced him to switch to the shot put and discus in high school. Ken grew to become one of the nation's premier track and field weight throwers, competing at Brigham Young University. After his disappointing 6th-place finish in the shot-put at the 1968 Olympic trials, he turned his full and complete attention towards Olympic weightlifting. Before becoming a professional wrestler, Patera was a highly decorated Olympic weightlifter. He won several medals at the 1971 Pan-American Games (including gold in the weightlifting total), and finished second in the 1971 World Weightlifting Championships just behind Vasily Alekseyev. On his native soil, Patera won four consecutive U.S. Weightlifting Championships in the super heavyweight class from 1969 to 1972. He was the first American to clean and jerk over 500 lbs (227 kg), which he accomplished at the 1972 Senior Nationals in Detroit. He is also the only American to clean and press 500 lbs (227 kg), and was the last American super heavyweight for years to excel at weightlifting at an international level. At the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, Patera was expected to be a serious competitor to Vasily Alekseyev, but he failed to total and was not among the medal recipients. Vasily Alekseyev even stated to the media that Patera was even stronger than him, illustrated by a 550-pound overhead push press (off the racks) that Patera had allegedly done in practice. Nevertheless, when it came to competing, Alekseyev was always the winner. After the clean and press (a lift in which Patera was disproportionately talented) was eliminated from competition, Patera retired from weightlifting.