Yurik Vardanyan (b. 1956) was arguably the strongest light heavyweight lifter in the history of this weight class. A native of Armenia (part of the USSR at that time), he was a member of the Soviet national team from the late 1970's to the mid 1980's. He won 7 gold medals at the world championships between 1977 and 1985.

The peak of his sports career definitely was at Olympics in Moscow in 1980 when he set a phenomenal 400 kg world record in total on the two lifts. Vardanyan's total in Moscow would have earned him a gold medal in either of the next two higher weight classes. This record remains unbeaten even nowadays, over 20 years after the Olympics in 1980.

Vardanyan was a phenomenal all-around athlete. His sensational performance off the weighlifting platform includes such results as long jump of 3.7 m, high jump (with only three step approach) of 2.15 m and 100 m time in 10.6s. As a lifter, Vardanyan demonstrated an outstanding dynamic explosive strength and an impressive technique in the snatch and clean-and-jerk. His famous ability to stay focused during competition made him almost unbeatable in his successful weightlifting career.