- GEORGE “STEVE” MASSIOS *
BORN: c. 1931 (died 1954?)
[NOTE: Mike Murphy is source for info in this entry, via an article in Denis Reno’s newsletter, issue #199. –Editor] George Constantine Massios was born in Greece; his family emigrated to US when he was 11 years old, settling in Peabody, MA. He started weight training as a teenager, following the techniques advocated in STRENGTH & HEALTH magazine. He adopted the nickname “Steve” in honor of Steve Reeves, who had risen to physique prominence in the late 1940s. In November 1948, in an open meet at Boston ‘Y,’ George became only the ninth 17-year-old in the world to Clean & Jerk 300 pounds! His Total was 720 lbs., lifting as a Light Heavyweight (181 lbs. bodyweight upper limit). The very same day he came in third in the Mr. Boston physique contest. Over the span of a few months in 1950 he would win following physique titles: Mr. Junior New England, Mr. Suffolk County, Mr. Massachusetts, Mr. Boston. Not long after this he enlisted in the US Navy and was sent to Chicago area for electronics training. He pursued his WL training at Irv Johnson’s gym, achieving a Press of 260 and C&J of 360 (these figures are unofficial, of course). Based on these successes, George decided to aim for the 1952 US Olympic Team. At the Senior Nationals/Final Olympic Trials “Steve” made a Press of 231 1/2 lbs., then a Snatch of 275 1/2. Going for the win over Stan Stanczyk in his Weight Class, he opened with an attempt of 363 lbs. for the Clean & Jerk and failed in all three tries. (The 181 Lbs. Class World Record at the time stood at 372 1/2 lbs. by Frenchman Henri Ferrari.) Massios continued to train while in the Navy and had ambitious plans for 1954 Senior Nationals: P–275; S–315; C&J–400. Sadly, this would never be. Approaching time for his discharge from military service, in April 1954 “Steve” contracted strep throat while stationed at Norfolk, VA. He may have had a bad reaction to the drugs administered in the Naval Hospital there, and his illness became fatal. His Personal Best (unofficial) lifts were: P–265; S–290; C&J–380 lbs. Only weeks before his death, Massios had set a New England Record Snatch of 279 lbs.; he also held the N.E. Record for C&J at 323 lbs. In the realm of bodybuilding, though he focused on the Oly lifts “Steve” was believed capable of becoming Mr. America had he worked to put some finishing touches on his physique. For some time in later years outstanding Weightlifters in New England would be awarded the George Massios Memorial Trophy.