French Canadian strongman and weightlifter Victor DeLamarre was born in 1888 in Quebec and he stood at just 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighted only 150 pounds. DeLamarre is best known for bent pressing 309.5 lb in a theater in Montreal, breaking Louis Cyr’s record and setting a new one.
This deceptively strong man had twelve siblings and even as a young boy Victor excelled in various sports including weightlifting, boxing and wrestling. The “Canadian Samson” developed much of his strength while working on a farm as a lumberjack, as soon as he turned 13. At that time he was simply lifting anything he could get his hands on, including his own uncle who weighed 150 pounds. Throughout his long and colorful career, DeLamarre lifted cars, horses, groups of people and even statues.
When he was in his twenties, DeLamarre moved to Montreal where he met several strongmen, including his idol Louis Cyr. He managed to join the police even though he was considered too short and small to fulfill their requirements. But they knew he was as strong as a bull. Furthermore, this miracle of a man had a four-inch thick spine and double tendons. That’s twice the thickness of a regular strongmen spine and the best part is this was all verified at the autopsy.
Some people would say that despite his small frame, Victor DeLamarre was stronger than his idol, Louis Cyr. This doesn’t come as a surpise, especially when you consider that Victor DeLammare broke four records in 1914 with “just” one 309.5 lb bent press:
- The heaviest bent-press in history
- Lifted more as a middleweight than any other heavyweight
- Defeated Louis Cyr’s record of 273 pounds bent-press
- Lifted twice his bodyweight overhead using one hand
Oh, and he also clean and jerked 201.5 pounds in 1922. With one finger! About three years later, he managed to backlift 65 people standing on a platform, a weight of about 7000 pounds.
Victor DeLamarre was also a professional wrestler with 1500 matches under his belt and was given a belt of honor and strength on December 17th, 1921 in Lac-Bouchette for his achievements in feats of strength.
The Canadian Samson, Victor DeLamarre, died in 1955 in Quebec City after succumbing to a serious illness.