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The main ASL Don Reinhoudt page

Don Reinhoudt pictures when he was inducted

Sunday, June 28th, 1998

The fourth inductee

Jan Dillinger of York Barbell: When I came to work at York Barbell in 1976, the superheavyweight champion of the world was Don Reinhoudt and probably the best testimony that I can give you to the respect that he commanded as a lifter was a few days before the 1976 World Power Championships that were held here at York High, all the world teams and assembled in the York gym down on Ridge Avenue. The Japanese were training. The Fins were training. The British were training. Other people were training. The Japanese had a contingent of about a half dozen people. Two of whom were world champions and one held a world record in the bench press and they happened to be at the bench press training. Don strolls in. These champions from Japan stopped and I mean run over to him, circle him and jump up and down around him. They were in awe of him. He was, well, sort of a God to them and I mean Don didn't know what they were saying. Don just said, "Hi fellas. How are ya? How's the training going? How's the workout?" (The audience laughed) And they jumped around him. Don was a world champion from 1973 until 1976. As I said, he commanded great respect on the lifting platform. He commanded great respect off the lifting platform. A nicer man, you cannot meet.

(The assembled applauded for Don as he received his plaque)

Don Reinhoudt: It's definitely been a very emotional day for myself and for everybody who's being inducted to the Hall of Fame. First of all, I want to thank God because without the Lord, I would not have had the opportunity to represent the great sport of powerlifting. I want to thank my family for coming here and supporting me today and supporting me through the years, all my friends being inducted today and all of you sitting out there today to support all of us and those who made this day possible by working so hard to put this all together. I've been blessed in my life and am really fortunate to achieve a few things in my life. When I look at my friends: Billy Kazmaier, Billy and I just love each other to death and when it came time to compete, there was no greater competitor than Billy and I look at Larry, an idol to all of us here-nine time champion and Larry will always be the legend of all time to us. Vinny, I think I told you this story today. You really ticked off a lot of us superheavyweights. (The audience laughed) Vinny was so great. I mean he was way ahead of his time as a powerlifter and, of course, especially a deadlifter and our goal was as superheavyweights, now we outweighed Vinny by over a hundred pounds, was to be able to deadlift and to stay even with Vinny in the deadlift because he was so good. Well Vince, we love you too and Ruthie...What a beautiful lady and I have just really enjoyed reacquainting our friendship and being together with you today.
I want to share a little story with you real quick and I know that you are all tired and want to get on. Being a big guy, and I don't think Bill had this problem because he had a lot of muscles, I was kind of like one of those old-timers where, you know, kind of like what used to be up here (points to chest and shoulder area) is now down here (points to waist) (The audience laughed) I got asked a lot this week, "Don what did you do to become strong?" Well, a couple of big Macs, some fries and I didn't have that body that Billy had. (The audience laughed even harder)
One of the highlights of my life was making the 1979 team to go over to England to compete. I should have known from day one...I was fortunate enough to win the competition, but I went over and my uniform didn't fit. I should have known right off the bat that I was in trouble, you know? Then, my wife and I got into the hotel room and when I sat down on the edge of the bed, I broke the leg off the bed. (The audience laughed hard) Then, I got up the next day and the team was going to meet down in the lobby to go down to the gym to work some of the bugs out and get the feeling back. I jumped in the bath tub. Well, over in England, these bath tubs aren't made for superheavyweights. Not for big guys like me. I got into the bath tub because, you know, I'm a big guy, but I'm pretty clean. (The audience laughed) I'm in the bath tub and my wife went first and she's getting all prettied up and we get a phone call in the room that said, "Tell Don to hurry up, he's the last one to come down to the lobby." Well, they didn't realize that I got stuck in the bath tub. (Lots of laughs) Now this is a true story. So, Cindy said and I won't repeat what she said because we had a kind of neat relationship at the time. She said, "Don, we got to get going." I said, "Hey, come here for a minute, will ya?" She said, "What the heck's the matter with you?" and I said "I got stuck in the bath tub. I had created a suction." (Everyone in the audience was laughing so hard that they could hardly breathe) Well, I tried. She grabbed my arms and my wife is one of the strongest women of all time and, of course, she knew how to handle a big man like me so we tried, but we couldn't break that suction. (The audience laughed even harder) So she said, "Well, I'll call Larry and we'll get a couple of the guys and we'll get you out." (More laughing) and I said, "NO WAY!!!" (Tons of laughter filled the auditorium) I mean this was unbelievable. So any way, we worked and worked really hard and we broke that suction. Water all over the bathroom. We had a tidal wave in the bathroom, but I made it down and everybody said, "How come youre so slow?" Well, I haven't told that story until today. (The audience clapped) So, that story about the Japanese us pretty cool because it's flattering to have all these little guys grabbing you wanting to have their picture taken with you, but the real story was: Boy those were tough times too.
But anyway, to get it over with real quickly, today is a day that I will always remember. Ill probably go home tonight and cry because this is a really special time. (He had to clear his throat a little because he was a little choked up) You flatter us by being here and supporting us these past few days. Any athlete in their career would love to have a day like this because we are remembered because of you. Yeah, we worked hard and set standards with your lives and the competition was tough and rugged and I can remember times after competitions when I had to soak in the tub forever to get rid of those aches and pains. I didn't have the luxury of whirlpools. you all have come here this weekend to honor us. We should honor you because of the standards that you gave to us this weekend by flattering us and talking to us and I haven't seen Larry, Billy, Ruthie, or Vince for over 20 years. We made a pledge last night that we are going to get together on a regular basis. I'd like to see Doyle Kenady, a guy that I have so much, much love and respect for. Hugh Cassidy is here. A man who I just idolize the ground that he walks on and so many others. So, you guys come here and honor us and thank us for what we did years ago and I think I am sure I can speak on behalf of all of those being inducted and say thank you for coming back and letting us re-live the days that were so very important to us. Keep the sport of powerlfiting going and alive guys because it's a great sport and without powerlifting when I was younger man I don't know what I would have done because it really helped me out a lot in my life. So again, God bless you and thank you for the award and may all your dreams come true. Thank you.