David Rigert

:: 11/30/2021: mal Irwin, mal_irwin@hotmail.com QLD, Australia
After 1972 Olympics we would get the Strength and Health every month. David Rigert nearly always featured, moving records further into the stratosphere. Bob Hoffman was impressed by Ivanchenko, but noted Rigert was the man to watch after his struggle to toal at Columbus. True.

:: 3/12/2020: Kevin St. John, Rochester NY, US
Happy Birthday, David! Thanks for the great memories!

:: 11/13/2018: Tony Picone, Sydney NSW, Australia
I may have been wrong with my earlier comments that he was over rated.Upon reflection, if you break a world record, you are great.He was a great weight lifter, have to agree.

:: 2/22/2018: Kevin St. John, Rochester NY, USA
I went to Montreal and was about 15 rows back from the stage. What a night! My favorite lifter won and Lee James got the silver medal. It was one of the best experiences of my life to go to those Olympics!

:: 2/28/2017: Mal Irwin, upper kedron Queensland, Australia
I was still new to weightlifting in 1970. i consider the appearance of lifters like Ivanchenko Kolotov Rigert and Alexeev was a major landmark in weightlifting. Not many lifters moved the records along as far as Rigert and Alexeev.

:: 2/23/2017: Arthur Chidlovski, Boston MA, USA
David Rigert won 6 WCs, 9 ECs and set 64 world records. Was he over rated? Yes, he won 1 Olympics out of 3 and it is something he's dealing with all his life... Most important, the phenomenon of Rigert wasn't about just titles and records. He was a truly inspirational figure, the 'right stuff'. He had this look and feel that everybody wanted to have. Charisma and strength and confidence... Yes, there were vulnerabilities with two missed golds in Munich and Moscow... In some way, it added to his charisma. Nobody's perfect.

:: 2/21/2017: Tony Picone, Sydney NSW, Australia
Rigert was a little over rated and very inconsisant. Bombed out in the snatch in the 72 Olympics with a moderate 160kg after holding the world record. Bombed out again in 1980 on 170kg. In 1980 there were middleweights who were lifting more than Rigert and in the 100kg class, in 1981 there were at least 3 other Soviet lifters better than him. So he was over rated.

:: 12/24/2016: Mark Miller, Towson Maryland, United States
Perhaps the best built Olympic lifter I ever saw. York lifter Bill March, who pressed a world record 352lbs in '63 in the 90kg class, also had an outstanding physique, but I think Rigert had the edge, what with those canyon-like spinal erector muscles and traps that rose to his earlobes.

:: 8/12/2013: Øyvind Hansen, Oslo , Norway
Victor, he has a son named Vladislav that is a weightlifter. He seems to be a 105 lifter and rather strong too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TK57f3DG48

:: 8/8/2013: Victor Rosenberg, Cleveland Heights Ohio, USA
Does anyone know anything about Rigert's family life? I remember that on ABC they showed his wife Tatiana in the audience at the 1975 world championships and that a 1976 TV special showed his son Victor, then about five years old. Is he still married, did he have other kids, and did any of his kids become weightlifters?

:: 6/20/2011: G.H. Massiha, Lafayette LA, USA
David Rigert looked shorter and lighter than the 69 kg Euro champ, Lukanin! Just watch the 2011 Euro Champ on Franjete's site. This is the guy who was world champ in 100kg category.

:: 5/14/2011: Richard Thompson, East Grinstead West Sussex, UK
Where can you find information on David Rigert's training methods? Where can you find information on his training and diet?

:: 10/13/2010: paul ohearn, ridgeland sc, usa
its been 40 years since david rigert first appeared at a world championships, columbus ohio as a lightheavy lifter, and now 2010 he still at the worlds, only this time now as the head coach of the russian team. I can't think of anybody else who has that kind of record. this I feel is pretty outstanding.

:: 5/28/2010: Gary langford, Mackay Qld, Australia
I competed alongside David Rigert but of course never remotely posed any threat. I am very proud to see that I do feature on your website. It was very interesting to read his interview and know that he would chose to do the same sport again if he had his time over. I don't think I would make the same choice. However David was a man of iron and I remember sitting next to him on a bus and even though we were the same weight division he appeared to be twice my size. He was and still is my hero and one of the best lifters there ever was. Gary Langford

:: 5/11/2010: Steve Wanvig, Burnsville MN, USA
I'm not unusual in that I'd pick Rigert as my all-time favorite ATHLETE (not just 'lifter'). I saw him lift three times: Columbus, OH in 1970, Montreal in '76, and Gettysburg in '78. Alas, I did not see him set the WR on American soil with the 220 in '75. I did a b/w ink portrait of him, which they let me present to him at the Montreal Games. I think I was almost as much anguish as him when he bombed with 160 snatch in Munich. He would have won by 30 kilos! I've never seen a guy duckwalk in the bottom of a snatch, with a world record overhead.....except the 'Shakty Samson'. He had it all: class, looks, build, strength, charisma. If he'd been from the US he'd probably be president by now! Here's to you, Dave! You will never, ever be forgotten.

:: 8/31/2009: Agron HAXHIHYSENI, Tirana Albania, Albania
For years David rigert was my inspirit. Nevertheless was very dangerous for albanian to met the russian people I met him many times in European championships. he was really a Hero of our days. A legendary lifter with a very human natyre. The sport is not competion only, but first of all frienships. Da zdrazvujtje russian tjazhelojatleti.

:: 5/1/2009: Alex Pechenik, Buffalo NY, USA
Rigert lifted 506 lbs (230 kg) in 1980 - just look at the list of his World Records. He was a remarcably kind and approachable fellow and helped a lot of young people.

:: 4/30/2009: Kevin St. John, Rochester NY, USA
At the 1978 Worlds in Gettysburg I approached him for an autograph while he was watching his teammates lift. He scowled as I shyly offered a pen and my program, not knowing if he spoke English. Then he broke into a big grin and shook my hand. He nearly crushed it but we laughed and he gave me the autograph and I still have it

:: 8/7/2008: Doug Wood, , USA
Back in the 70s, I bought every lifting magazine he was in. Because of him I was obsessed with always being able to Clean/Press my own weight. I am 54 now and 240. I can still come close to that, thanks to following Davids career. He could beat most heavyweights in his day. Truly the best there ever was.

:: 7/8/2008: Arthur B. Fox, Pittsburgh PA, USA
I saw Rigert and the Russian team train in the old York Gym prior to the 1978 Worlds at Gettysburg, that I also attended. I took old 35mm film of the team and their training methods, hope I still have it somewhere. Rigert hammed it up and smilled for me and my wife when he saw us with the camera, we were only feet away from him - WOW what a memory.

:: 5/8/2008: Sean Burke, Philadelphia PA, USA
Rigert is one of my favorite lifters in history. To the administrator: Do you have the picture of him snatching in bare feet (apparently after having just walked in to the training hall from lying out in the sun in his swim trunks)? That's a great shot. SB

:: 4/6/2008: daivid kwapis, salem mass, usa
the king of of sub heavy weights in the 1970s and a insperatin to any lifter

:: 3/31/2008: Tom Weary, Santa Monica CA, USA
As a teenager in the 70s, Rigert was the archetype of lifters. Not only did he dominate the decade, he had tremendous charisma. I was in Montreal in '76, where he easily won (Go Lee James!) and then playfully deadlifted a WR attempt. The sport desparately needs another charismatic personality, preferably English-speaking, to draw some attention to the sport in this country. I fear it is withering away.

:: 3/27/2008: Jim O/Malley, Voorhees NJ, USA
Eddie, Yes, I was in Gettysburg as well that day. I recall the groan from the crowd at the beginning when BOTH Alexeev and Christov withdrew from lifting. But Rigert made everyone forget them with his astounding lifting. I can still see his second attempt when he barely cleaned the 220kg world record only to fail in the jerk. I do not think anyone (I surely did not) expected him to succeed on his third attempt. The clean was even harder than the second but he stuck the jerk and (as you noted) the place just erupted. It was (to this very day) the greatest lift I ever personally witnessed. Will never forget it. Cheers.

:: 3/24/2008: Eddie Wood, Bradenton Fl., USA
Dec. 13,1975,Gettysburg, PA.-At 198, Rigert is the last lifter to lift because his attempts were that high. It took him 3 dramatic attempts to jerk a world record 485. I can still see him holding a sign,'World Record', aloft with both hands after his success. I can still feel the excitement of the crowd. Did anyone else see it?

:: 3/17/2008: arthur chidlovski, boston ma, usa
(to Randy) His last world record in cj was 230kg (1980). He is and was a chain smoker and YES - he was a tremendous talent, natural born lifter, if I may say so. I don't know about his friendship with Rigert - they definitely respected each other as lead athletes of national Team CCCP. Today, Rigert is a head coach of Team Russia (men) and he's been criticized by Alexeev on many ocassions.

:: 3/17/2008: randy packham, sapulpa ok, u.s.
did rigert ever c&j 500lbs.? were he and alexeev good friends? was rigert a smoker and vodka swiller as often reported in the 70s and 80s? goodness!! what a tremendous talent!!

:: 3/10/2008: Jim O'Malley, , USA
I meant to type 'beat' and not 'be'. Sorry for the typo.

:: 3/2/2008: Jim O'Malley, , USA
In 1976 just prior to the Olympic Games, Alexeev was asked if he thought anyone could be him. First he shook his head no but then he paused and said, 'Well, maybe Rigert.' THAT is how good David Rigert was.

:: 2/20/2008: kevin mulderig, , usa
Pound-for-Pound, the greatest of them all!

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