Legendary powerlifter Don Reinhoudt has died aged 78 after a glittering career that earned him a spot in the Hall of Fame.

Reinhoudt won World’s Strongest Man in 1979 and was inducted into the National Strength and Power Hall of Fame in 2018.

According to State Police in Fredonia, Reinhoudt was involved in a one-car collision  in the town of Pomfret on Monday morning.  

Their investigation reportedly found that his Jeep struck a tree. Reinhoudt was transported to Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk, where he was later pronounced dead.

In 2018, the same year he entered the Hall of Fame, Reinhoudt was named in the Top 10 All-Time Strongman of the Century by the International Powerlifting Federation.

Legendary powerlifter Don Reinhoudt has died aged 78 after a glittering career

Legendary powerlifter Don Reinhoudt has died aged 78 after a glittering career

Reinhoudt (centre) set 51 world records, including a 520lb teeth lift and a 2,550lb car lift

Reinhoudt (centre) set 51 world records, including a 520lb teeth lift and a 2,550lb car lift

At High School Reinhoudt starred in football, basketball and track and it wasn’t until college in Iowa that his attention turned to weighlifting. It didn’t take long before he gained national and international acclaim.

The New York native won the national and world powerlifting championships from 1973 through 1976. According to the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, he was officially recognized as the World’s Strongest Man from 1973 through 1980.    

Reinhoudt set 51 world records, including a 520lb teeth lift, a 2,550lb car lift, and a 10,000lb train pull. He lifted a combined weight of 2,420lbs across bench press (626lbs), squat (935lbs) and dead lift (885lbs).

In 2018 Reinhoudt was named in the Top 10 All-Time Strongman of the Century

In 2018 Reinhoudt was named in the Top 10 All-Time Strongman of the Century

Reinhoudt is credited with being one of the pivotal figures who brought strongman and powerlifting into the mainstream.

Laurence ‘Big Loz’ Shahlaei, a former British and European Strongest Man paid tribute on Instagram, writing: ‘Very sad to learn about the passing of Don Reinhoudt, the second man to win The World’s Strongest Man, and one of the pioneers of the modern sports of Powerlifting and Strongman. 

‘I was lucky enough to talk to Don a couple of times, and he was incredibly kind and a real gentleman with so many stories to share. Our thoughts are with his wife, family and friends.’

Reinhoudt's success was honored by bodies including the World Powerlifting Hall of Fame

Reinhoudt’s success was honored by bodies including the World Powerlifting Hall of Fame

After retiring from powerlifting, Reinhoudt dedicated much of his time to helping young people, including counseling kids on the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. 

He would inspire the youngsters with feats of his own strength and his tricks included ripping license plates in half.

Reinhoudt’s success also eanred him a place in the World Powerlifting Hall of Fame, the USA National Hall of Fame for Powerlifting, the Chautauqua County Sports Hall of Fame and the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.

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