6 January 2012

Oliver Sweeney inspired by Ben Helfgott, the British Olympic Weightlifting Legend

It's the year of the British Olympics and many brands are showing their support.
Footwear brand Oliver Sweeney thought it would be great to keep it in the 'family' and took inspiration from the British Olympic legend Ben Helfgott's vintage weightlifting boots. One of Ben's sons, Maurice, is part of the team responsible for the day to day running of Sweeney.

The first is 'Ben' -  an ankle boot in calf leather with a calf lining and micro rubber sole.
Made in the blake rapid construction method, it carries the white reinforcing stitches of the original boot which makes a striking statement. The robust laces are braided and waxed.
Price £350

The second is the 'Helfgott' - a low boot in calf with a calf lining and leather sole.
The sturdy strap was designed on the origianl boot to prevent the lifter's foot from sliding in the boot. Still giving some support, the strap now adds a sartorial style to the look..

Price £350
Available in selected Oliver Sweeney stores and online at www.oliversweeney.com

Ben Helfgott
Born in Poland on 22 November 1929, Ben survived the Holocaust, although almost all of his family did not. He came to England in a party of 700 orphans after the war, when he was barely 16 years old. While he built a successful business career, he also excelled at weightlifting. He was good enough to represent Great Britain at the sport in the 1956 Melbourne Summer Olympics, where he captained the British weightlifting team, repeating this at the Rome Summer Olympics four years later. Now aged over 80, this remarkable man still lifts weights every day. When he was a guest on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs on 1 April 2007 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/desert-island-discs/castaway/c014b692#b007763z) he chose a weightlifting bar with two discs as his “luxury” to take to the island. 

Ben Helfgott approves of Oliver Sweeney's interpretation of his sporting heritage. 
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