USA Weightlifting

James "Butch" Curry


1980 Olympian James “Butch” Curry Dies at 70

by Will Edmonds

COLORADO SPRINGS - James “Butch” Curry Jr., a 1980 Olympian and two-time senior national champion, died September 15th in northern California at the age of 70, his family confirmed. Curry was a long-time member of USA Weightlifting and supported the sport of weightlifting for almost 60 years as an athlete, coach, meet director and administrator. Curry was an at-large member of the USAW board of directors for two stints from 2015-16 and 2017-20.

The oldest in a family of weightlifters, Curry was born February 20, 1953 to James and Daisy Curry. A native of Queens, New York, James Curry Jr. is preceded in death by both of his parents along with his younger brother Nicholas, and is survived by his sister Joanne. Per the family, he’ll be honored in a private ceremony in New York in the coming weeks.

“The sport of weightlifting experienced a difficult loss today with the death of Butch Curry,” USA Weightlifting President and CEO Matt Sicchio said. “We offer Butch’s family and friends our deepest condolences and join with the international weightlifting community in the remembrance and celebration of Butch’s life and many contributions to our sport.”

Curry began lifting as a young teenager and grew to have a successful athletic career, including winning the 1979 and 1980 senior nationals (90 kg), the latter of which earned him a spot on the 1980 U.S. Olympic team. He ultimately didn’t compete in Moscow due to the U.S. boycott. Curry collected a trio of national titles plus a 1982 America Cup crown.

Off the platform, Curry spent time as a technical official and became a national official in 1975, going on to work the 1984 Los Angeles and 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.  Over his nearly 60 years of service to weightlifting, Curry held various positions in local and national oversight, including 18 terms as LWC President of the Pacific Weightlifting Association.