Records Dedicated To the Leader

owl-rio-leader

I did not feel any pressure, I just focused on each lift. The first thing I thought when I knew I had won was that I had made our Beloved Leader (Kim Jong Un) happy.
Jong Sim Rim, People’s Republic of Korea
Olympic Champion, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (via www.iwf.net)

Jong Sim Rim won the gold medal in the W75KG class and the honor went to her Beloved Leader.

Rim is an outstanding weightlifter.

She is definitely a role model for many athletes for her gutsy clutch lifts. But the quote reminded me the early Soviet days when champions dedicated their records and titles to the Leader.

Just like on the cover featuring old photo of  legendary Grigory Novak setting the world record in weightlifting on the football stadium packed with fans and in front of the Leader.

Novak was the first Soviet world champion. Not just in the weightlifting. The first world title in all sports. He was a household name for all people in Russia.

On the photo, he dedicated his new world record to Comrade Stalin, the “best friend of Soviet sports people”…

Famous Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovski once wrote:

“Iron nails should be made out of these people…”

They were “iron nails” hammered into the foundation of the Soviet power.

I don’t know how honest and sincere they were dedicating their achievements to Stalin and his close circle. I know that they were determined to win despite any odds. That’s the way they were brought up. That’s the way they won all these Olympics and championships in the past decades.

I don’t think people really want to roll back into these times. With all these impressive sports results, it was time of fear and totalitarian power destroying millions of people lives.

One day your were a national hero. The next day you were unanimously called a traitor and court-martialed in the NKVD basement.

Just a memory from the past.

Great lifting in Rio!

 

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3 Responses

  1. Artur, being born and raised in communist country, I experienced first hand the brainwashing the system does to its people. It starts from kindergarten and continues all the way through the University, where you have mandatory classes “Marxism Leninism” and History of the Communist Party. By the time you graduate, you are completely brainwashed. And of course religion was forbidden, the only God for those people is the dictator, the head of the Communist Party.

    • achidlovski says:

      Alexander, it’s very true.
      I always thought your story could make a great book or film. Being an elite athlete in Bulgaria in the 1970s, winning a silver medal at the Olympics and then going to America despite all odds.
      At that time, when people were leaving their countries behind Iron Curtain, it was understood that they’ll never be able to see home again.
      I never knew the details – of course, media in Russia didn’t do much publicity about this.
      I heard bits and pieces from U.S. coaches here (Marty Schnorf) who helped at the beginning to start in the new country…

    • achidlovski says:

      Hi Alexander,
      I just added Championships of Bulgaria (1948-2000) to the Lift Up project.
      They are available in BETA version at http://www.chidlovski.net/liftup/l_tournamentForm.asp?tflag=bul .
      Best regards,
      Arthur

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