Vasily Alexeev

:: 6/23/2013: matt rossiter, titirangi auckland, new zealand
Alexeev was without doubt the greatest superheavyweight,in his prime as recognisable as mohamed ali.his tactic of opening in c&j after others had finished shows his absolute belief in his ability.did he intimidate plukfelder,of course he did,alexeev openly said he did not need the input of coaches,and during the cold war coaches and athletes were political tools.as for yenaldievs claims,his lifts through his career never came close to alexeev,rakmanov,kurlovich,pisarenko or taranenko inspite of claims he could squat 450kg+.vasily was able to perform under pressure time and again and during the cold war the pressure was far more than athletes endure today.by 1980 age had caught up with him,it happens to all the great athletes,he wasnt poisned as he claims,at a special olympic trial just for him before the moscow olympics he barely snatched 170 but easley clean and jerked 235,convincing the selectors to put him in with rakmanov at super,we all know he bombed in the snatch with 180,but all athletes are judged by their prime. being the king is never easy,but but Vasiliy Alexeev was the the rightful king and backed it up with 8 world titles,2 olympic titles and 81 world records.the king is dead - long live the king.

:: 6/23/2013: matt rossiter, titirangi auckland, new zealand
Alexeev was without doubt the greatest superheavyweight,in his prime as recognisable as mohamed ali.his tactic of opening in c&j after others had finished shows his absolute belief in his ability.did he intimidate plukfelder,of course he did,alexeev openly said he did not need the input of coaches,and during the cold war coaches and athletes were political tools.as for yenaldievs claims,his lifts through his career never came close to alexeev,rakmanov,kurlovich,pisarenko or taranenko inspite of claims he could squat 450kg+.vasily was able to perform under pressure time and again and during the cold war the pressure was far more than athletes endure today.by 1980 age had caught up with him,it happens to all the great athletes,he wasnt poisned as he claims,at a special olympic trial just for him before the moscow olympics he barely snatched 170 but easley clean and jerked 235,convincing the selectors to put him in with rakmanov at super,we all know he bombed in the snatch with 180,but all athletes are judged by their prime. being the king is never easy,but but Vasiliy Alexeev was the the rightful king and backed it up with 8 world titles,2 olympic titles and 81 world records.the king is dead - long live the king.

:: 1/10/2012: Jim Seals, Columbus Ohio, USA
I was Alekseev's translator at the 1970 championships in Columbus, Ohio. I heard people wondering whether anyone would ever clean & jerk 500 pounds. I mentioned it to Vasily and he asked me how much that was in kilos. I checked and told him it was 227 kg. He had them load 227.5 for his next C&J, which he cleared, and the crowd erupted. I spent many hours with him that week and found him to be a wonderful man. He even came to my apartment, played with my kids, played volleyball with my neighbors, and, with one of his teammates, moved an upright piano from another building up to my second-floor apartment.

:: 12/24/2011: Tom Constantinidis, Sydney NSW, AUSTRALIA
This great weightlifter was certainly ahead of his time by miles. He inspired me and all my friends. Vasily Alexeev almost dethroned my biggest hero Yuri Vlasov , but will always remember him as the biggest record breaker of all time. That said, even if he didn't win 3 consecutive golds like Pyros Dimas or Kaki Kakashvilly. This unbelievable weightlifter did a clean & Jerk of 255kg 36 years ago, and if it's done today, and it's rarely done, it's a big achievement. One thing I've being thinking for a long time is Vasily Alexeev's name. Like Suylomonoglu was Suilimonov in Bulgaria, excuse the spelling. Could Vasily being an Orthodox name being Santa Claus's name and Alexeev changed from Alexiadis as perhaps being from Greek ancestry? He did have that do or die attitude. Also his wife's name was Olympiada meaning olympics, coincidence? We will always remember you Vasily Alexeev. Best wishes to his family.

:: 12/19/2011: Zahariev, , USA
'Alexeev returned to the Olympics in Moscow (1980). However, past his best, he was unable to even lift the bar higher than his knees... ' - Dramatic, but not true. His first two high pulls were only one or two inches short of what would be necessary to go under the bar, he only gave up the third at knee level. It was lame to watch the great man fail though.

:: 12/4/2011: Bageri Hamidi, Tabriz Azerbaijan, Iran
Vasily awakens the nostalgia of the years past happily. In 1970's, we the teenagers then, rejoiced watching Vasily's record-settings on TV and identified ourselves with him. Vasily was the icon of human strength and beauty for us. I was deeply moved by the news of his death.

:: 12/2/2011: Steve Wanvig, Burnsville MN, USA
I was there in Columbus, OH, in 1970, World Championships, when VA became the first man to C&J 500 lbs. He, Ivanchenko (82.5), Rigert (82.5), Kolotov (90) all made their international debuts, and all except, ironically, Rigert, won easily and set up multiple records (Rigert took 3 tries to jerk 182.5 and when he made it finished 3rd behind US' Mike Karchut). I was also in the house when Vasily won his only Olympic gold title, in Montreal, '76 (Rigert, too!). In Montreal he took a routine opening C&J to secure the gold, then called for a huge jump to a massive WR of 255 (562). I recall turning to a friend and saying, 'He has no shot at making that weight!'. Well, he cleaned it and stood up with it like, as they say, 'a broom', took a few seconds to set himself, and bang: a phenomenal, absolutely mind-blowing WR attempt is successful. This was VA the Intimidator: you guys think you belong on the same platform with me? Think again. Take a look at that list of WR's, and notice there are only four or five snatch records there and just a couple of press records (the press was eliminated after the '72 Games in Munich). Almost singlehandedly Vasily 'owned' the C&J record book, moving it from a relatively paltry 221 all the way to 255 and more! If records were the only criteria, he would be far and away the greatest of all-time. Simply incredible. And all-in-all, one of the five greatest of all-time, along with (my opinion only!) Rigert, Naim, Basz and Vardanyan. God bless Vasily and his family.

:: 11/27/2011: Ivan Agundiz , san luis potosi S.L.P, Mexico
El mas grande The legend Vasily alexeev

:: 11/27/2011: ghislain, sedan france, france
triste nouvelle c'est une légende qui nous quitte un palmarès énorme

:: 11/26/2011: matthew ciancio, melb vic, australia
R.I.P

:: 11/25/2011: Kevin St. John, Rochester NY, USA
I wrote in a journal in 1978 after the Gettysburg World Championships, ' The King is dead, long live the king.' Once again, I say long live the King.

:: 11/25/2011: Mark A. Bartay, , U.S.A.
We lost a legend today. A man who is a God in the strength community. Vasily Alexeev. A man who dominated super-heavyweight olympic lifting, for almost a decade. Power, unmatched. 1942-2011... RIP...

:: 11/25/2011: Arthur Chidlovski, Boston MA, USA
Sad news came from our friends in Shakhty, Russia. Valily Alexeeev, one of the most memorable legends of world sports, died today. He was 69. I am very sad and speechless.

:: 11/12/2011: John Buckley, Hingham Ma, USA
We will never know who took what as far as drugs go. What we do know is that Alexeev in the space of less than eight years took the C&J record from 221.5--256. An incredible 34.5 K. In the next 10years it increased 10k. In the last 23 years no one has topped that 266! Is there really any argument about who is the greatest.

:: 11/7/2011: jeff nootens, jacksonville florida, usa
I have a pair of his lifting shoes from the early 80's. Bought them from Rich Schutz after the 86 games in Seoul. Still have them somewhere. He had them special made so as to add an additonal half inch to the heal. he is awesome

:: 11/7/2011: jeff nootens, jacksonville florida, usa
I have a pair of his lifting shoes from the early 80's. Bought them from Rich Schutz after the 86 games in Seoul. Still have them somewhere. He had them special made so as to add an additonal half inch to the heal. he is awesome

:: 9/2/2011: Denis, Moscow , Russia
the mail is as follows: jibernau /at/ gmail /period / com

:: 9/2/2011: Denis, Moscow , Russia
Gents, today they published a big interview with Alexeev in the leading Russian sports newspaper. Here he also claims being poisoned in 1980's Olympics and explains how. Plus the article helps you to learn more about his life in sports and after. Use Google Translate if you can't read Russian. Please also ask me should Google does a shoddy job on translation and you can't grasp some passages. Will be happy to help! Here is the URL: http://summer.sport-express.ru/others/reviews/16118/

:: 8/3/2011: Gioacchino Ricci, Rome , Italy
@PAUL, all athletes were doped more than Alekseev, also Suleymanoglu that was never able to repeat at 64kg his results at 60kg in 1988 at an age of 21yrs, when Alekseev set WR at 35. -About the story of doping in wl, serious testings began at the olympics in 1976, but not at the wl championships were them were not held by the CIO but by the wl federation, so those athletes that set their records at the olympics(Alekseev, Vardanian, Suleymanoglu) were really strong. Then in 1988, after Ben Jonhson, all drug tests came under the CIO responsability. and there is the fact that after 1984 became very hard to estabish new records in wl, also with 'help', human phisic reached his limit by then, continuing with steroids would have brought only to injuries.

:: 7/3/2011: PAUL OHEARN, RIDGELAND SC, USA
I don't argue the point that Alexeev was great. But I think he has to take 2nd place to the Pocket Hercules. I think Alexeev was juiced up. Not to say that most lifters of that period were juiced.There realy wasn't any good drug test during the 70's and early 80's. Point of fact look at the results from the 1970 Worlds in Ohio. First three classes all the medal winners were busted. They the drug testers could only tast back for 72 hours. In 1972 Ken Patera said that he would win the Olympics because he had a better pharmasist. Enough said

:: 12/20/2010: Петр Кравцов, Armyansk Crimea, Ukraine
Я несколько раз видел Алексеева на соревнованиях,начиная с 1971 (Спартакиада в Москве), мельком общался с ним. Это неординарная личность, во многом спорная и противоречивая с довольно трудным характером. Но след в истории тяжелой атлетики он оставил довольно весомый!

:: 11/21/2010: BOB FAVREAU, Santa Rosa California, UNITED STATES
I WAS PRIVILEGED TO BE A LOADER ON STAGE THE EVENING THAT VASILY ALEXEEV LIFTED THE FIRST 500 POUND CLEAN & JERK !!!! HE NOT ONLY TOOK THE HOUSE DOWN, BUT THE BUILDING ITSELF BEGAN TO FALL APART... OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY, COLUMBUS OHIO !

:: 8/12/2010: Gianluca, Savona Italy, Italy
'I don't like sensation.I don't like it when a sportsman becomes a stage celebrety.I like peace.By nature,I prefer to stay at home:At home sourrounded by my wife and children,I spend the best moments of my life'. -Vasily Alexeyev 'The strongest man in the World' by Dmitry Ivanov. A Myth and an Example for all!!!

:: 5/1/2010: Gioacchino Ricci, Rome , Italy
See this interview with Alexeev where he affirms that someone poisoned him at the Olympics of Moscow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewDX4Cx4mTc

:: 12/25/2009: Gary Velich, Kenosha Wisconsin, United States
I remember watching Vasily Alexeev in the 1972 and 1976 olympics. He was awesome and incredibly powerful. I believe he is the best of all time. I also would like to know if you could e-mail me a list of all lifters who have Clean and jerked 500 pounds or more? Thanks. I appreciate all your help.

:: 8/4/2008: RF JOHNS, Cambridge Ontario, Canada
I met him at a pre olympic tournament in Montreal 1975. As Oscar State once said his body wasn't that impressive unlike Zhabotinsky 1964/68 Olympic champion who I saw in Gettsburg in 1978 what a huge man at over 180 kilos.Alexeev had without question the strongest legs could get up with any clean easily, had to see it to believe it. He would carry medals with him stating that they were won from championships except he had a lot of extra medals trading with fans and I remember seeing him look down at one fan with a medal on lapel and he took a hold of label and brought medal and fan to his eyes.He had a wishy washy hand shake probably because he could easily crush anyone's hand. Could have brought the clean and jerk to 600 lbs but wasn't pushed and didn't want to go over 1/2 kilo at a time because he was paid for each record.Definitely had a problem with lockouts on jerk when clean portion was easy. Carried long after the snatch was eliminated shows how great he was.

:: 7/20/2008: Harry, Louisville KY, USA
I remember watching him lift whenever ABC Wide World of Sports televised a lifting event. There was a short doc on him during one of the Olympics (must have been '72) that said his work out regime consisted mostly of calisthenics and they believe he weighed almost 15lbs at birth - though there was no official weight known. The only other lift that could have matched him was Paul Anderson but he was a powerlifter - squat, bench and press. Is there any word on Alexeev's health?

:: 4/9/2008: Mark Cameron, , USA
Watching Alexeev compete in his prime was amazing. There were world championship meets when he no longer held any world records and was not favored to win. But when he walked into the training hall you could see the strength of his opponents just board the bus for home. He would go on to crush his opponents and regain his world records and always looking like he could have C&J'd another 20 kilos. Then of course there were the times he would set a world record and sell the belt he did it in to four or five different people. Somehow he ended up with the original belt at the next meet. Early Perestroika I guess.

:: 3/12/2008: Mark A. Bartay, San Antonio Texas, U.S.A.
The true face of olympic-style weightlifting ~ Vasily Alexeev. Anyone who endeavors to make weightlifting a career, or even as recreation, should research the history of one of the greatest athletes of all time. What Arnold Schwarzenegger was to bodybuilding, and Bill Kazmaier was to Strongman competitions, Vasily Alexeev is Olympic weightlifting. In essence, he is the embodiment of what strength & power was, before any of the others arrived.

:: 2/23/2008: Julian Phillips, Cascade 00000, Trinidad
I first learnt of Alexeev in 1999. Mind you I am only 26 so Alexeev was retired before I was born. Like all of the other contributors, I was in awe of his legacy and what he did. I spent years scouring the internet, looking for any picture or document I could get related to Alexeev. Needless to say, this web page, Lift Up was and is a gold mind. It is in reading the Aslanbek Yenaldiev interview posted on this site, I began to learn of Alexeev's darkside. Being complicit in the repeated poisoning of Yenaldiev and threatening the Soviet Minister of Sport with a no show to make sure Yenaldiev didn't compete in Montreal is serious stuff. Physically intimidating Rudy Plukfelder is another obscenity. Read the Plukfelder interview and see what I am talking about. If what Yenaldiev and Plukfelder are saying is true, then Alexeev deserved to be embarrassed. That Yenaldiev and Plukfelder both are in good physical health these days and Alexeev is presently ligth years away from any picture of health is also poetic. I say all that to say that yes, Alexeev is a legend, an innovator and he still gets my vote for greatest lifter of all time, but at the same time, he was an ego maniac who did some disgusting things. Should we forgive him? I think so, but we must remember all of his ways so that the super stars of tomorrow won't suffer his fall from grace.

:: 6/24/2007: Danny Chiasson, St. Catharines Ontario, CANADA
Vasily Alexeev deserves much more acknowledgement, credit, and honor for all the effort he put into the sport. Or is he getting as much credit as he wants now? Does anyone know?

:: 6/24/2007: Danny Chiasson, St. Catharines Ontario, CANADA
Vasily Alexeev is a living legend in the sport. If you never heard of the man, you would think he was a great military leader or something with all the medals he wore on his vest. There's nothing like that with any other man in any other sport except him. It must have burned him up inside when he wasn't successful on his lifts in the Moscow Games in 1980. Most of us who lift can understand that feeling of not passing your lifts when you know you can because you've done them before. According to the stats recorded on him, that was the only time he was defeated. Defeated by an injury that didn't fully heal. Some people would say the injuries caught up to him. Others would say he was getting old. Part of me thinks coaches back then in the USSR would have some of these lifters work endlessly like mules, but I really do not know. Suppose if he had the chance to recover from his hip injury, I think he would have broken the 600 lb barrier in the 'Clean and Jerk,' and possibly the 500 lb barrier in the 'Snatch.' His means of training were innovative and creative, even to standards now. Video clips from youtube.com have been a source of enouragement to practicing Olympic exercises. Other than that, I have been trying to contact him so I can ask some questions on training. I do Olympic exercises for Powerlifting, and the progress seems to be working pretty good. If anyone knows how to contact Vasily Alexeev, by email or something, or knows someone who knows how to contact him, please let me know.

:: 6/23/2007: mike, , usa
around 1990 training at the lost battalion gym in queens n.y., i met the bulgarian weightlifter antonio krastev who trained there for awhile. some of us asked him about his training methods, but the discussion eventually gravitated to about alexeev. he said that as a junior lifter one of his coaches who trained as an assistant in russia witness alexeev clean 592 lbs., but could not recover from the clean. that same weight he said was jerked off the rack with astonishing ease. he wanted the moscow olympics to be hislast bow, but the extensive hip injury that was more serious then was initially reported and never fully recovered from finally did him in.

:: 6/20/2007: Sean, , United States
An athlete I will never forget. As a high school kid, and a lifting enthusiest. I followed the stats of Vasily Alexeev closely. Simply because he was the best. And I will never forget seeing the 562 pound world record clean and jerk he did in Montreal at the 1976 olympics (I am lucky to deadlift 500 on a good day as a middleweight). A lifter once said 'anytime you compete against Alexeev, you know you can not win'. And this was true for a long time. Great lifters have come and gone, but Alexeev will be a tough one to top. He just kept breaking records.

:: 6/16/2007: jim, , usa
the ali with the horses and charisma to back it up. i saw him in montreal, totally awsome. a human phenome.

:: 6/6/2007: Michael, , United Staes of America
Definitely the Greatest Weightlifter of All-Time...!!!

:: 6/4/2007: Jake, , USA
By far the greatest weightlifter of all time. No one ever since has had a reign of dominance over the sport like he did. Simply the best the sport will ever see.

:: 5/29/2007: Arthur Chidlovski, Boston MA, USA
Minor correction - Alexeev wasn't a flag bearer of Team USSR at the Summer Olympics... Here is the list of Soviet athletes that carried the Soviet flag at the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics: 1952 - Y. Kutsenko, Olympic Weightlifting; 1956 - A. Medvedev, Olympic Weightlifting; 1960 - Y. Vlasov, Olympic Weightlifting; 1964 - Y. Vlasov, Olympic Weightlifting; 1968 - L. Zhabotinsky, Olympic Weightlifting; 1972 - A. Medved, Wrestling; 1976 - N. Balboshin, Wrestling; 1980 - N. Balboshin, Wrestling; 1988 - A. Karelin, Wrestling.

:: 5/28/2007: mike, , USA
What an amazing athlete, & almost forgotten today!! He deserves better. I well recall his holding the Soviet flag w/ one hand while the contingent circled the field at the opening of what? the 1972 Olympics?? Just awesome.

:: 5/26/2007: Stephen Powell, Columbia SC, Richland
An athlete whose powerful mind matched the ability of his powerful body. He became the first man to clean and jerk 500 lbs and raised that record to 564 near the end of his career. Can you think of a sprinter who through his career knocked off a full second in the 100 meters? Such is the achievement of Alexeev.


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