Those stones are still on the bridge and I myself lifted one in each hand on many occasions and one market day, I carried them across the bridge and back, some four to five yards - Donald Dinnie.

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Potarch Bridge



Frank Ciavattone - At Potarch - 24th September 1996

Height - 6' (1.83m)

Weight - 19 st. 7-lbs. (273-lbs) (123.8-kgs)

Age - 42

Unassisted lift

Residence - Walpole, Massachusetts, USA

Unassisted lift was witnessed by Willy Wright, Andy Tomlin & Agnes Mcnineny, weightlifting referees, plus a busload of spectators. The record was endorsed, ratified, and a certificate issued & signed by Frank J. Allen of the International All-Round Weightlifting Association dated 1st December 1996, and shown on the left

Frank took on the stones without ever training for them or trying them. He had also been lifting in the world championships in Glasgow on the Saturday and Sunday, getting up at fouram on the Monday morning and driving up to Potarch. Five hours drive in a mini bus getting off the bus in the rain walking over to the stones that were chained to the wall and lifting them successfully on the first try. Due to the stones being chained to the wall and not wanting to turn his back on those watching Frank picked the big stone up in his left hand and the the little stone up in his dominant right hand. That may have been the first time anyone had just turned up with no specific training and lifted them successfully, unassisted. He ws also the first to successfully lift them heels together (stones either side as opposed to a straddle lift) and finally Frank can claim to be the first American lifter of the stones. Not bad for a 3 time Cancer survivor! 

Frank attended the Gathering II on 5th August 2018 and participated as a judge meeting many lifters old and new for the first time.

Thine very truly D Dinnie

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