The weightlifting world stumbled
across a teenage Marcus Stephen at school competitions and moulded
him into the weightlifting sensation he soon became setting the
scene of his life for the next two decades.
From humble beginnings, Marcus
sacrificed a lot in life, to be where he got to in his sporting
It was at boarding school when
Marcus was discovered and subsequently coached by Oceania
weightlifting coach Paul Coffa for 16 years from 1988 until his
retirement from competition in 2002.
Coffa called him a "true champion"
and Marcus did not disappoint. His sporting success put Nauru on
the sporting map and eventually the Olympic movement.
His success and humble nature
attracted president of the International Weightlifting Federation
Dr Tamas Ajan to take an interest in Nauru. Dr Ajan made efforts to
ensure Nauru became a member of the International Olympic Committee
and in 1994 Nauru became a member and Marcus competed at the
Olympic Games for first time for his country.
His fellow lifters Gerard Garabwan
and Quincy Detenamo made sporting history by becoming the first
Nauruans to compete at the Olympic Games.
However Marcus had previously
competed at the Olympics in 1992 as a competitor for Samoa. He
remains indebted to the Government of Samoa for enabling him to
participate at his first Olympics.
His record breaking achievements
swept through Oceania and the pacific, snatching gold medals and
leaving rivals battling it out for silver and bronze. But his gold
medals at the Commonwealth Games earned him the name "Golden
Weightlifting was not a sport
instantly welcomed with open arms in Nauru but it eventually
attracted a lot of Nauruan kids to take up - with dreams of being
"just like Marcus Stephen."
Marcus's achievements make him the
second most successful weightlifter in Commonwealth Games history.
He remains the most successful sportsman in Nauru's sporting
history with seven Commonwealth Games gold medals, five
Commonwealth Games silver medals; 12 gold medals at the South
Pacific Games and 13 times Oceania champion from 1987 to 1999.
His greatest achievement is winning
a silver medal with his 172.5kg clean & jerk lift at the 1999
World Championships in Athens where he lifted a total of 300kg.
Marcus made history and Nauru was
proud. He leaves the memory of those proud moments on the dais when
Nauru's flag flew high to the tune of "Nauru bwiema".
He eventually dusted off the chalk
and hung up his boots in 2002.
In 2005 Marcus was inducted into
the Weightlifting Hall of Fame, an honour no other Nauruan has
Marcus is the fourth of seven
children. He attended Aiwo Primary School in Nauru and did his
secondary schooling at St. Bede's College, Victoria Australia. He
later went on to do a Diploma in Business Accounting at the Royal
Melbourne Institute of Technology.
After leaving the weightlifting
scene he entered politics in 2004 and served as President of the
Republic of Nauru from 2007-2011. He remains a member of parliament
for his constituency of Ewa/Anetan.
He is currently the President of
the Nauru Olympic Committee, President of the Commonwealth Games
Association and President of the Oceania Weightlifting
1992 Barcelona Olympics - represented Samoa as competitor.
1996 Atlanta Olympics - represented Nauru as competitor.
2000 Sydney Olympics - represented Nauru as competitor.
1999 Silver Medallist at World Weightlifting Championships held
in Athens, Greece.
1990 - 1 gold and 2 silver medals in Auckland New Zealand
1994 - 3 gold medals in Victoria, Canada
1998 - 3 gold medals in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2002 - 3 Silver medals in Manchester, UK
Chef de Mission for Team Nauru at the 2006 Melbourne Australia
Oceania Champion in 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993,
1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999.
1989 Mini Games - Tonga - 3 gold medals
1991 South Pacific Games - PNG - 3 gold medals
1997 Mini Games - American Samoa - 3 gold medals
1999 South Pacific Games - Guam - 3 gold medals