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This digitally enhanced historical photo of the Team CCCP Weightlifting features the athletes selected to represent the country at the 1979World Championship in Saloniki, Greece.

Top row (L-R): Igor Kudyukov (Head Coach), n/a, Kanybek Osmanaliev (52kg, Frunze), Gennady Bessonov (90kg, Shakhty), Nikolay Kolesnikov (60kg, Bugulma), Yury Nozdrin (team doctor), Gennady Baldin (massage therapist), Viktor Veretennikov (56kg, Volgograd)

Front row (L-R): Valery Kravchuk (100kg, Zheleznye Vody), Pavel Syrchin (100kg, Krasnokamsk), Yurik Vardanyan (82.5kg, Leninakan), Sergey Arakelov (110kg, Krasnodar), Sultan Rakhmanov (110+kg, Dnepropetrovsk), Alexander Voronin (52kg, Kemerovo)

Leonid Taranenko  also went to compete to Saloniki but wasn’t present in the photo session.

Team CCCP took the first place in the tournament.

Osmanaliev, Vardanyan, Bessonov, Syrchin, Arakelov and Rakhmanov won the World titles in their weight classes. Veretennikov won silver medal. Voronin and Taranenko won bronze medal.

Nevertheless, it was the last big tournament for Igor Kudykov. He was replaced by Alexander Prilepin as the Heas Coach CCCP in 1980.


World Championships from 1891 to Today

World Championships1979 World Championship
Location: Saloniki, GRE</p>


Weight Class Name Total (kg)
52 Flyweight Kanybek OSMONALIEV, Soviet Union 105+137.5 = 242.5
56 Bantamweight Anton KODZHABASHEV, Bulgaria 117.5+150 = 267.5
60 Featherweight Marek SEWERYN, Poland 127.5+155 = 282.5
67.5 Lightweight Yanko RUSEV, Bulgaria 145+187.5 = 332.5
75 Middleweight Roberto URRUTIA, Cuba 155+190 = 345
82.5 Light Heavyweight Yurik VARDANYAN, Soviet Union 170+200 = 370
90 Middle Heavyweight Gennady BESSONOV, Soviet Union 170+210 = 380
100 Sub Heavyweight Pavel SYRCHIN, Soviet Union 167.5+217.5 = 385
110 Heavyweight Sergey ARAKELOV, Soviet Union 185+225 = 410
110+ Super Heavyweight Sultan RAKHMANOV, Soviet Union 192.5+237.5 = 430

Note: To view a complete list of the winners in the weight classes above,

please follow the link associated with the weight class.


White-Winged Scoters







Here is my first baby steps into the world of Duckland.

These are some photos of the group of white-winged scoters taken during a day trip to the shoreline in Winthrop.

White-winged scoters are large black duck tesiding in the coastal waters.

These guys were spotted in the ocean close to the Shore Drive.

Cold weather didn’t seem to bother them. They had a good time diving deep into the ocean keeping a jolly smile on their faces.

“We ain’t polar bears but cold water doesn’t bother us!” said one of them to me.

Cold didn’t bother them. Still, they kept a safe distance from your cameraman.







Trofim Lomakin was perhaps one of the most memorable personalities among the Soviet Olympic weightlifters in the 1950s.

Lomakin won the gold medal at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki and the silver medal at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. He earned many World and European titles and he managed to win many Soviet national championships. He broke 5 world records in his career. For those who are interested in his career track and results, we have his detailed profile at the Lift Up.

With all these said, Lomakin was extremely strong by nature. His strength and physique caused many stories and accounts.

At the same time, Lomakin showed amazingly little interest in daily training and development.  Life outside the gym was more important for him than working out for the competitions and adding weights pound by pound. His life ended tragically at 49 when he was murdered at the horse racing track in Moscow in 1973.

The cover photo features Trofim Lomakin getting ready to lift at the USA vs. USSR weightlifting match in the 1950s.

He looks strong and impressive.

He is one of the strongest athletes in the world.

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.

Frank Spellman (1922-2017)


Olympic champion and one of the legends of the York Barbell weightlifting team, Frank Isaac Spellman died at 94 on January 12, 2017.

Frank Spellman competed for Team USA weightlifting in the late 1940s.

He won the Olympic gold medal in London 1948 in the middleweight class. As a member of the American national team, he also won bronze medal at the 1946 World Championship in Paris and silver medal at the 1947 World Championship in Philadelphia.

Spellman has been inducted  to the United States Weightlifting Hall of Fame, to the Helms Hall of Fame and into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Complete profile of Frank Spellman in Olympic weightlifting is available at the Lift up.

R.I.P., great champion!





The moment captured here shows Soviet lightweight Victor Bushuev pressing 125kg at the weightlifting match between Team USA and Team USSR in 1958.

These matches between the Soviet and American athletes in the mid to late 1950 drew alot of attention at the time. In fact, American weightlifting team was the first U.S. sports team ever to visit the Soviet Union.

Bushuev will win the 1960 Olympics in Rome in two years.

He will win the three consequent world titles in 1957-1959 and will set three world records in total.

There were lot of fascinating competitions in his career. Full profile of Victor Bushuev is available @ Lift Up for your review.

But at the moment, he is 25 and looks good.

On a side note, Bushuev was the favorite athlete of my coach.

Every time I see his photos, I think of my coach.

Who said it’s bad to be nostalgic?

Oldtime Gym in Detroit in 1966


This time the retro photo presentation brings us to the old weightlifting gym in Detroit, Michigan.

It is August 1966 now and it is a home place for Norbert Schemansky, a living legend of Olympic weightlifting.

He is now 42 and still competing nationally.

He is known as Mr. Weightlifting. Fellow lifters call him Norb.

He is a 4-times Olympian for Team USA.

He won the gold at the Summer Olympics in Helsinki in 1952. He brought home the silver from London in 1948.

He saw it all.

He could have competed at the Olympics in Melbourne in 1956 but he injured his back and everybody thought it was over for for a good old Norb.

But he came back to win two bronze medals in Rome in 1960 and, two years ago, in Tokyo in 1964.

He is the men for those who want to be a part of the Iron Game.

It is August 1966 in Detroit, Michigan.


Happy Training Camp in 1981


Another group shot of Team CCCP weightlifting is showing the national team in the training camp in Crimea in 1981.

This time, the photo session occasion was the visit of legendary dancer and artist Makhmoud Esambaev.

Top row (L-R):

Alexander Pervy (75kg, Donetsk), Victor Sots (100kg, Donetsk), n/a, n/a, n/a, n/a (team doctor),, n/a, Oleg Pavlovsky (coach), Sultan Rakhmanov (110+kg, Dnepropetrovsk), n/a, n/a, Anatoly Pisarenko (110+kg, Kiev), n/a, n/a, Vyacheslav Klokov (110kg, Malakhovka), n/a.

Mid row (L-R):

Sergey Arakelov (100kg, Krasnodar), Oxen Mirzoyan (56kg, Yerevan), Yurik Sarkisyan (60kg, Echmiadzin), Yurik Vardanyan (90kg, Leninakan), Makhmoud Esambaev, Alexander Prilepin (head coach), Gennady Bessonov (90kg, Shakhty), Semyon  Itkin (coach), Avset Avsetov (67.5kg, Moscow)

Front row (L-R):

Gennady Baldin (massage therapist), Viktor Mazin (60kg, Shakhtinsk), Kanybek Osmanaliev (52kg, Frunze), n/a, Nikolay Zakharov (56kg, Kemerovo), Israil Arsamakov (82.5kg, Grozny), n/a, Yury Zakharevich (90kg, Dimitrivgrad)

USSR Championships

USSR Championships1981 Championship
5/12/1981 – 5/17/1981
Host: Novosibirsk, Russia Arena: Sibir Sports Palace
Number of Athletes: 138
Main Referee: A. Medvedev Secretary: B. Klepinin</p>


Weight Class Name Total (kg)
52 Flyweight Valentin POLONSKY, Army  Moscow 245
56 Bantamweight Nikolay ZAKHAROV, Trud  Kemerovo 275
60 Featherweight Vladimir GOLOVKO, Dynamo  Novosibirsk 290
67.5 Lightweight Avset AVSETOV, Army  Moscow 325
75 Middleweight Alexander PERVY, Army  Donetsk 355
82.5 Light Heavyweight Israil ARSAMAKOV, Dynamo  Grozny 375
90 Middle Heavyweight Yurik VARDANYAN, Army  Leninakan 402.5
100 Sub Heavyweight Viktor SOTS, Dynamo  Donetsk 410
110 Heavyweight Valery KRAVCHUK, Burevestnik  Krivoy Rog 415
110+ Super Heavyweight Sultan RAKHMANOV, Avangard  Dnepropetrovsk 440

Note: To view a complete list of the winners in the weight classes above,

please follow the link associated with the weight class.




Not really a friend, but in Willimantic, Connecticut.

Full story is here in a video format on YouTube.


Do I Know You?



The mourning dove in the backyard spotted me with the camera.

I don’t know their language but it seems self-explanatory at the moment.

“Perch-coo-cOO-coo… Do I know you?”



Авторский Блог

То, что не скажешь по-русски. Author's daily blog in English - CHIDLOVSKI Blog CHIDLOVSKI.


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