Ernst Cadine, French Olympic Weightlifter

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Ernst Cadine

From “Mighty Men of Old” Vol. I (n.d.) (Author unknown)

Ernst Cadine“ERNEST CADINE of Paris, France, was the last strong man to visit this continent to accept the individual challenge of the then reputed “Strongest Man in America.” 

It was a decade and a half ago that ARTHUR GIROUX, of the Montreal Police Department, was considered the best on this side of the water and a match was arranged between him and Cadine, 1920 Olympic Champion and former record holder.

Montreal at that time boasted some Iron Men of world’s championship caliber.  For instance: Angers as a 123 pounder was on par with anything Europe could offer.  Barbeau held the world’s amateur record military press in the lightweight class, and there was Fournier, the sensational middleweight.  Dundurand and Couette, all the tops at that time.  But the match between Cadine and Giroux was too one sided, Cadine easily winning due to his immense superiority on the quick lifts though the Montrealer did beat him at the dead lift.


When Cadine won his Olympic title, the rules were somewhat different than they are today.  It was permissible as late as 1924 to clean from the “hang” position if desired, also a lifter could attempt a second jerk from the shoulders if the first failed to stay up!  The French lifters were permitted to use the shot loading globe bells while the rest of the competitors could use the German type disc loading outfit.  It was quite some time before the French and Germans could agree on one set of rules. 

Many lifters were unable to see why the French should insist on the shot loading bells, but a little study of the mechanics will show that it is possible to lift more with a shot loading bell than with the disc type.  Sounds incredible but remember that Rigoulot set his world’s record clean and jerk of 402½ his two hands snatch of 313 and his one hand snatch of 253 with one.  When a globe bell loaded with shot is pulled up fast, the loose shot for one split second remains suspended inside the globe, thus having the same effect as if the globes were empty for the brief interval!  However, the secret is to know how to control the bell when the shot strikes the inside bottom of the globe for it then has the effect of the weight of the shot doubled! It seems odd that the Germans failed to take advantage of this mechanical phenomena.  In America about the only users of globe bells are the few remaining professionals and not one of them knows this secret. It might be interesting to mention here that only one man in weightlifting has ever caused the Federation to write rules to prevent him from getting too far ahead of his rivals.  He may be almost forgotten now, but it was Helmut Schaeffer, who performed the squat snatch starting the lift with his hands at shoulder width then sliding them out to the collars as the weight went overhead.  He used a full squat in the clean and rested his elbows on his knees as his world’s record at that time was so far ahead of the next best that officials decided to make that method of cleaning illegal.   

© Mighty Men of Old

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