Vasily Alekseyev

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Vasily Alekseyev
Vasily Alekseyev 1970.jpg
Personal information
Full name Vasily Ivanovich Alekseyev
Nationality  Russian
Born (1942-01-07)7 January 1942
Pokrovo-Shishkino, Ryazan Oblast, Russia
Died 25 November 2011(2011-11-25) (aged 69)
Munich, Germany
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[1]
Weight 160 kg (350 lb)[2]
Sport
Country Soviet Union
Sport Olympic weightlifting
Event(s) + 110 kg
Club Trud Rostov oblast
Trud Ryazan

Vasily Ivanovich Alekseyev (Russian: Василий Иванович Алексеев; 7 January 1942 – 25 November 2011) was a Soviet weightlifter.[3][4] He set 80 world records and 81 Soviet records in weightlifting and won gold medals at the 1972 and 1976 Summer Olympics.[5]

Biography[edit]

At the age of 18, Alekseyev began practicing weightlifting at Trud Voluntary Sports Society, trained by his coach Rudolf Plyukfelder until 1968, when he began to train solo. He was not a naturally large man like other super heavyweights but was encouraged to gain strength by adding weight. In January 1970 Alekseyev set his first world record, and during the World Weightlifting Championship in Columbus, Ohio in 1970 he was the first man to clean and jerk 500 pounds (227 kg) in competition. During one of his early world records, Oscar State OBE remarked that the weight of over 460 pounds (209 kg) in the Olympic press looked so easy it could have been a broomstick.[4] This was the beginning of a series of 80 world records Alekseyev set between 1970 and 1977. He received bonus funds every time he set a world record by the Soviet Union; so he made it a point to gradually increase his world records by 1.1 pounds or 0.5 kg. He was unbeaten and held the World Championship and European Championship titles for those eight years. He was the first man to total over 600 kg in the triple event.[4]

Many thought he would be the first to clean and jerk the mythical 600 pounds but it was never to be as his habit of increasing world records by only 1/2 kilo took so long that age caught up to him.

Alekseyev's performance in the Moscow Olympics of 1980 was a disappointment. He had by then become more of a recluse, training by himself without a coach. In the snatch he set his opening weight too high and was unable to lift it, scoring zero kilograms as the result. He retired from weightlifting after the Moscow Olympics.[3][5]

In 1987, Alekseyev was elected to represent the Ryazan District for the Soviet Union's Congress of People's Deputies.[4] Alekseyev worked as a coach between 1990 and 1992. Under his leadership, the Unified Team earned ten medals in weightlifting at the 1992 Summer Olympics, including five golds.[6]

From 1966 Alekseyev lived in Shakhty, where in 1971 he graduated from the branch of the Novocherkassk Polytechnical Institute. He died on 25 November 2011 in Germany in a clinic where he had been sent for serious heart problems.[3] He was 69. The Russian Weightlifting Federation reported his death and called him a "Soviet sports legend" and "one of the strongest people in the world".[7] He was survived by wife Olimpiada and sons Sergey and Dmitry. Dmitry competed nationally in weightlifting, placing fourth at the 1988 Soviet weightlifting championships.[5]

Legacy and awards[edit]

Vladimir Vysotsky devoted his "Song about weightlifter" (Russian: Песня о штангисте, 1971) to Alekseyev.[8]

Alekseyev was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated 14 April 1975, titled "World's Strongest Man".[9] In 1999, in Greece, Alekseyev was acknowledged as the best sportsman of the 20th century. He was also awarded: Order of Lenin (1972), Order of Friendship of Peoples, Order of the Badge of Honour (1970), and Order of the Red Banner of Labour (1972). In 1993 he was elected a member of the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame.[10]

In Shakhty, where he lived much of his life, there is a street and park named after him,[11] as well as his monument installed in 2014.[12]

Career bests[edit]

  • Snatch: 190.0 kg (419 lbs) in 1977-09-01 in Podolsk;
  • Clean and press: 236.5 kg (521 lbs) official world record until 1972;
  • Clean and jerk: 256.0 kg (564 lbs) in 1977-11-01 in Moscow;
  • Total: 645.0 kg (clean and press + snatch + clean and jerk), in 1972-04-15, in Tallinn, official world record until 1972;[13]
  • Total: 445.0 kg (snatch + clean and jerk) in Podolsk.[1]
World records
  • 24 January 1970 Clean & Press 210.5 kg (464lb) Super Heavyweight Velikie Luki[1]
  • 24 January 1970 Clean & Jerk 221.5 kg Super Heavyweight Velikie Luki
  • 24 January 1970 Total (3) 592.5 kg Super Heavyweight Velikie Luki
  • 24 January 1970 Total (3) 595 kg Super Heavyweight Velikie Luki
  • 18 March 1970 Clean & Press 213 kg (469.5lb) Super Heavyweight Minsk
  • 18 March 1970 Total (3) 600 kg Super Heavyweight Minsk
  • 26 April 1970 Clean & Press 216 kg (476lb) Super Heavyweight Vilnius
  • 26 April 1970 Clean & Jerk 223.5 kg Super Heavyweight Vilnius
  • 26 April 1970 Total (3) 602.5 kg Super Heavyweight Vilnius
  • 26 April 1970 Total (3) 607.5 kg Super Heavyweight Vilnius
  • 28 June 1970 Clean & Press 219.5 kg (483.9lb) Super Heavyweight Szombathely
  • 28 June 1970 Clean & Jerk 225.5 kg Super Heavyweight Szombathely
  • 28 June 1970 Total (3) 610 kg Super Heavyweight Szombathely
  • 28 June 1970 Total (3) 612.5 kg Super Heavyweight Szombathely
  • 20 September 1970 Clean & Jerk 227.5 kg Super Heavyweight Columbus
  • 17 November 1970 Clean & Press 220.5 kg (486lb) Super Heavyweight Volgograd
  • 17 November 1970 Clean & Jerk 228 kg Super Heavyweight Volgograd
  • 12/4/1970 Snatch 177 kg Super Heavyweight Shakhty
  • 12/4/1970 Clean & Press 221 kg (487.2lb) Super Heavyweight Shakhty
  • 12/4/1970 Clean & Jerk 228.5 kg Super Heavyweight Shakhty
  • 12/4/1970 Total (3) 615 kg Super Heavyweight Shakhty
  • 12/4/1970 Total (3) 620 kg Super Heavyweight Shakhty
  • 26 December 1970 Clean & Press 222 kg (489.4lb) Super Heavyweight Dnipropetrovsk
  • 26 December 1970 Clean & Jerk 229.5 kg Super Heavyweight Dnipropetrovsk
  • 26 December 1970 Total (3) 622.5 kg Super Heavyweight Dnipropetrovsk
  • 26 December 1970 Total (3) 625 kg Super Heavyweight Dnipropetrovsk
  • 14 February 1971 Snatch 177.5 kg Super Heavyweight Paris
  • 14 February 1971 Clean & Press 222.5 kg (490.5lb) Super Heavyweight Paris
  • 14 February 1971 Clean & Jerk 230 kg Super Heavyweight Paris
  • 26 March 1971 Clean & Press 223 kg (491.6lb) Super Heavyweight Wienn
  • 4/7/1971 Clean & Press 223.5 kg (492.7lb) Super Heavyweight Moscow
  • 18 April 1971 Clean & Jerk 230.5 kg Super Heavyweight Taganrog
  • 27 June 1971 Clean & Press 225 kg (496lb) Super Heavyweight Sofia
  • 27 June 1971 Clean & Jerk 231 kg Super Heavyweight Sofia
  • 27 June 1971 Clean & Jerk 232.5 kg Super Heavyweight Sofia
  • 27 June 1971 Total (3) 627.5 kg Super Heavyweight Sofia
  • 27 June 1971 Total (3) 630 kg Super Heavyweight Sofia
  • 24 July 1971 Snatch 180 kg Super Heavyweight Moscow
  • 24 July 1971 Clean & Press 225.5 kg (497.1lb) Super Heavyweight Moscow
  • 24 July 1971 Clean & Jerk 233 kg Super Heavyweight Moscow
  • 24 July 1971 Clean & Jerk 235 kg Super Heavyweight Moscow
  • 24 July 1971 Total (3) 632.5 kg Super Heavyweight Moscow
  • 24 July 1971 Total (3) 637.5 kg Super Heavyweight Moscow
  • 24 July 1971 Total (3) 640 kg Super Heavyweight Moscow
  • 26 September 1971 Clean & Press 227 kg (500lb) Super Heavyweight Lima
  • 26 September 1971 Clean & Press 230 kg (507lb) Super Heavyweight Lima
  • 26 September 1971 Clean & Jerk 235.5 kg Super Heavyweight Lima
  • 19 March 1972 Clean & Press 231.5 kg (510.3lb) Super Heavyweight Bollnas
  • 19 March 1972 Clean & Press 235.5 kg (519.1lb) Super Heavyweight Bollnas
  • 15 April 1972 Clean & Jerk 236 kg Super Heavyweight Tallinn
  • 15 April 1972 Clean & Press 236.5 kg (521.3lb) Super Heavyweight Tallinn
  • 15 April 1972 Clean & Jerk 237.5 kg Super Heavyweight Tallinn
  • 15 April 1972 Total (3) 642.5 kg Super Heavyweight Tallinn
  • 15 April 1972 Total (3) 645 kg Super Heavyweight Tallinn
  • 29 April 1972 Clean & Jerk 238 kg Super Heavyweight Donetsk
  • 18 June 1973 Clean & Jerk 240 kg Super Heavyweight Madrid
  • 18 June 1973 Total 417.5 kg Super Heavyweight Madrid
  • 1/3/1974 Clean & Jerk 242 kg Super Heavyweight Glazov
  • 20 March 1974 Clean & Jerk 240.5 kg Super Heavyweight Erevan
  • 28 April 1974 Clean & Jerk 241 kg Super Heavyweight Tbilisi
  • 28 April 1974 Total 420 kg Super Heavyweight Tbilisi
  • 6 June 1974 Snatch 187.5 kg Super Heavyweight Verona
  • 6 June 1974 Total 422.5 kg Super Heavyweight Verona
  • 23 September 1974 Clean & Jerk 245.5 kg Super Heavyweight Moscow
  • 29 September 1974 Clean & Jerk 241.5 kg Super Heavyweight Manila
  • 29 September 1974 Total 425 kg Super Heavyweight Manila
  • 27 November 1974 Clean & Jerk 242.5 kg Super Heavyweight London
  • 14 December 1974 Clean & Jerk 243 kg Super Heavyweight Zaporizhia
  • 29 December 1974 Clean & Jerk 243.5 kg Super Heavyweight Lipetsk
  • 7/11/1975 Clean & Jerk 245 kg Super Heavyweight Vilnius
  • 23 September 1975 Total 427.5 kg Super Heavyweight Moscow
  • 11 November 1975 Clean and Jerk 246 kg Super Heavyweight Arkhangelsk
  • 11 November 1975 Total 430 kg Super Heavyweight Arkhangelsk
  • 12/7/1975 Clean & Jerk 247.5 kg Super Heavyweight Montreal
  • 15 May 1976 Total 435 kg Super Heavyweight Karaganda
  • 27 July 1976 Clean & Jerk 255 kg Super Heavyweight Montreal
  • 9/1/1977 Clean & Jerk 255.5 kg Super Heavyweight Podolsk
  • 9/1/1977 Total 445 kg Super Heavyweight Podolsk
  • 11/1/1977 Clean & Jerk 256 kg Super Heavyweight Moscow

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Vasiliy Alexeev". Lift Up. Retrieved 27 July 2009. 
  2. ^ "Alexeev Vasili (URS)". Database Weightlifting. Retrieved 27 July 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c Fyodorov, Gennady (25 November 2011). "Weightlifting-World record holder Alekseyev dies at 69". Reuters. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d Croft, Lee B (2002) [1992]. Dawson, Dawn P, ed. Great Athletes. 1 (Revised ed.). Salem Press. pp. 35–37. ISBN 1-58765-008-8. 
  5. ^ a b c Vasily Alekseyev. sports-reference.com
  6. ^ "Unified Team Weightlifting at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Games". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  7. ^ Original Russian text: "легендой советского спорта" and "один из сильнейших людей планеты". Ушел из жизни один из самых сильных людей планеты, Василий Иванович Алексеев (in Russian). Russian Weightlifting Federation. 25 November 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2011. 
  8. ^ Vysotsky, Vladimir (2015). Собрание сочинений в одном томе. Эксмо. p. 391. ISBN 978-5-457-05335-9. 
  9. ^ "April 14, 1975 – Volume 42, Issue 15". Sports Illustrated. 14 April 1975. Retrieved 13 December 2008. 
  10. ^ "Weightlifting Hall of Fame". International Weightlifting Federation. Retrieved 7 August 2008. 
  11. ^ Ivanova, Yekaterina (10 March 2012) В Шахтах появился проспект имени штангиста Василия Алексеева. rostov.kp.ru.
  12. ^ Памятник легендарному штангисту Василию Алексееву открыт в Шахтах Ростовской области. tass.ru. 25 December 2014
  13. ^ "World Records from 1896 – 1972". Weightliftingexchange.com. Retrieved 27 July 2009. [dead link]