Launceston Elliot, named after the city in Australia he was conceived in, was born in Kaladgi, India. He was the son of Gilbert Wray Elliot and his third wife, Ann Mason. When he was 13 years old, his family moved to England. It was then that he developed his talent for weightlifting and competed in his first competition at age 16. 
Launceston was 21 years old when he traveled to Athens, Greece for the 1896 Summer Olympics. He won gold in the one-handed lift and 2nd place in the two-handed lift. He also competed in the 100 meter dash, wrestling, and rope climbing. He did not advance to the final in the 100 meter dash, and was defeated by Carl Schuhmann in the first round of the wrestling competition. In rope climbing, he finished in last place. 
He also competed at the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris, France. He only competed in the discus this time, for there were no weightlifting competitions that year. Launceston placed 11th. 
Launceston married Emelia Holder in 1897. In 1923, they returned to Australia, where he lived until his death.
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