Oleg Karavayev

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Oleg Karavayev
Oleg Karavayev.jpg
Personal information
Born 20 May 1936
Minsk, Belarus
Died 23 August 1978 (aged 42)
Minsk, Belarus
Height 161 cm (5 ft 3 in)
Weight 57 kg (126 lb)
Sport Greco-Roman wrestling
Club Burevestnik Minsk

Oleg Nikolayevich Karavayev (Russian: Олег Николаевич Караваев, 20 May 1936 – 23 August 1978) was a Soviet bantamweight Greco-Roman wrestler. He won the world title in 1958 and 1961 and an Olympic gold medal in 1960.[1][2]

Karavayev took up wrestling aged 16 and quickly became one of the most technically gifted Soviet wrestlers. Between 1956 and 1962 he rarely lost a bout, and won the Soviet title every year except for 1961. In 1964 he failed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, and retired to become a wrestling coach, heading the Belorussian team through the late 1960s. From 1971 until his death he worked at his native sports society Burevestnik. In retirement he developed an alcoholism problem, which led to his death at the age 42. Since 1992, an annual wrestling tournament has been held in his honor in his native Minsk.[1][3]