The Strongest Filmmaker in the World


Legendary Vasily Alexeev was impressive not only on the competition platform in the Olympic weightlifting.

There are many accounts of eyewitnesses about his multi-disciplinary talent.

He was great in playing volleyball and tennis, in shot put and throws. He played piano and lifted weights in the Don river. He showed impressive engineering skills designing his top secret exercise machines and equipment.

On this photo digitally enhanced for Lift Up, Vasily Alexeev goes for an Academy Award in cinematography.

The original photo was taken at the competition in Paris in February 1971. Local french filmmakers used this opportunity to make a documentary about the strongest man in the world at the time.

We don’t know how far Alexeev went in his pursuit of film making career. One thing for sure, he set two new world records that day in Paris with the 177.7kg snatch and 222.5kg press.

Those were two records out of 80 that Vasily Alexeev managed to break during his era in Olympic weightlifting.

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2 Responses

  1. Geoff Fleming says:

    Very nostalgic photo! In 1978, I met ‘Uncle Vassili’ at JFK Airport, N.Y., when the Soviet team arrived for the world championships. I was filming the arrival with a 16mm news camera, about the size of the Eclair NPR in the photo.
    Vassili beckoned me to hand him the camera, which I did, then he pretended to film. A few minutes later, he held it at one arm’s length, to the delight of the onlookers. When he gave it back, I held it out also…unfortunately, he turned around and saw me do this. I think he was a bit upset, as he probably thought I was trying to make him look bad but I was simply curious. The camera was only about 15 or 20 lbs fully loaded, so it wasn’t all that hard.
    Great new photos on the Lift-Up site! Very interesting.

    • achidlovski says:

      Hi Geoff!!!! So glad to hear you. I was about to send you some of these enhanced photos but you read my mind :-)
      I miss the old Go Heavy forum. One day I went there and it was gone…
      Great story about Alexeev and you in the JFK Airport!!!!

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