Vern Barberis

Athlete Biography

1928 – 2005

Australia sent its first weightlifters to London 1948. Four years later in Helsinki 1952, Vern Barberis won a bronze medal in the lightweight category. Only the gold medal winner, Konno from the United States lifted a greater weight than the Australian. Because Barberis had a greater body weight than Lopatin of the USSR, he was placed third and the Russian was awarded the silver medal. It took another 32 years before Australians won the next weightlifting medals when, at Los Angeles 1984, Dean Lukin won the gold medal as a super heavyweight and Robert Kabbas came second as a light heavyweight. At the Empire Games at Auckland 1950, Barberis won the first medal, a silver, by an Australian in international weightlifting. At the next Empire Games at Vancouver 1954, Barberis won Australia's first gold medal in international weightlifting. At the 1953 world championships of weightlifting Barberis placed fourth.