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Art Montini

Strongman / Weightlifter ∙ Aliquippa

 

 

 

 

After forty years of weightlifting, Art Montini was proud of the fact that he still competed in the 165 class, only now in the Masters Division for men over age 40. “It hasn’t been easy,” Art said about making weight in his sport. At 60 he was still active and placed second in his class in the World Masters Weightlifting Meet the year before in Puerto Rico. Art doesn’t like people to make a fuss over the J&L Steel Mill accident that almost cost him his life in 1978. “I was lucky,” he said, referring to the furnace explosion that gave him second and third degree burns over 65 percent of his body. Such severe and extensive burns often prove fatal, but Art not only survived – he was able to go back to work three months after the mishap. Doctors credited his superb physical condition with helping to save his life. Amazingly, Art was as successful in his favorite sport after the accident as before. After resuming lifting in 1978 he placed first, second, or third in 32 Masters competitions, ranging from eastern to national to world. In the World and National Masters meet of 1980 at Victorville, California, he set a world dead weight life record of 440 pounds and a total lift record of 964.5 pounds in the over 50 class. Before his accident Art had collected a long list of honors, including his Allegheny Mountain Association dead lift record of 185 pounds in 1965. Art was named athletic director of United Steel Workers Local 1211 in 1956 and after eight years there he coached a weightlifting team for the Aliquippa Sons of Columbus. The team later was merged with the Ambridge VFW Barbell Club, for which he served as president from 1976 to 1979 and in 1985. Art also organized many regional and national VFW meets.