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Kanybek Osmonaliev is 70

Legendary flyweight champion Kanybek Osmonaliev of Kyrzgyzstan turns 70!

Kanybek Osmonaliev was a phenomenal flyweight of Team CCCP. From mid 1970s to mid 1980s, he won the 1980 Olympics, 4 World championships, 2 European Championships and 2 USSR Championships. His official personal best total was 247.5kg (110+137.5) and it was reached when he won a World title at the 1981 World Championships on September 14, 1981 in Lille, France.

Besides the medals and results, he was an outstanding athlete – a hardworker in training, a clutch lifter in the competition and an exemplary character.

If you asked me at the time when I was an aspiring weightlifter, Kanybek Osmonaliev was on the very top of the list of my favorite Olympic weightlifters.

That’s for sure – Kanybek Osmonaliev was a pure inspiration and #1 for me.

Happy 70th Birthday to Kanybek Osmonaliev!





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History in Color:

Kaarlo Kangasniemi, also known as “Kulta-Kalle” competes at one of the Nordic tournaments in 1968.

Kaarlo Kangasniemi of Pori, Finland is a true legend of Olympic weightlifting. 3x Finnish Olympian, author of 17 world records, Kaarlo Kangasniemi was literally on the top of the world in the middle heavyweight from late 1960s to mid 1970s. He won the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, the World titles in 1968 and 1969 and the European titles in 1969 and 1970.

And of course, he was the first weightlifter in Finland to become an Olympic champion.

Besides the top elite World weightlifting tournaments, athletes of Scandinavian countries compete in various Nordic tournaments. In fact, those are big battle grounds of contestants where you earn respect among your peers in Scandinavia.

The cover photo depicts legendary Kulta-Kalle performing a snatch lift at one of the Nordic contests.

Needless to say that if you would have asked a Finnish weightlifter of the era if he knows Kulta-Kalle, my bet the answer would have been:

– Paras. The best!

Lifer from Sweden would have said:

– Det bästa !


– Den beste !

Strong fella from Denmark:

– Det bedste!

Or a lifter from Iceland:

– Það besta!

Respect from all Nordic nations goes to Kalle-Kulta.

In fact, Kaarlo Kangasniemi was the first weightlifter to become an Olympic champion not only from Finland but from all Scandinavia!




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Jaan Talts: Lifting in the Late Period of His Career

History in Color:

Estonia, Spring 1973 – Olympic champion Jaan Talts of Tallinn, Estonia competes in the 110kg class at one of the local meets in Estonia.

After winning gold at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, being exhausted physically and mentally and frustrated with the management  of the national team at the Olympics, Jaan Talts took a time off from lifting at the big tournaments. He skipped national and international contests in 1973 and then appeared at the 1974 Friendship Cup in Yerevan, Armenia. With Pavel Pervushin out due to an injury, Talts was trying to re-establish his position as the best 110kg athlete. However, in Yerevan, he received a severe elbow dislocation injury when snatching 167.5kg in the 2nd attempt. The injury ended the career of legendary Estonian heavyweight Jaa

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Boris Pavlov Goes for a World Record in Minsk

History in Color:

March 17, 1970, Minsk, Belarus – 23-year old Boris Pavlov. light heavyweight of the Spartak Donetsk club, is going for a world record in clean-and-jerk (192kg) in the 82.5kg class at the 1970 Friendship Cup in Minsk.

At the time, the attempt wasn’t successful and Pavlov finished with a 467,5kg (157.5+135+180) total. 1968 Olympic champion Boris Selitsky won the first place with a 477.5kg in total. M.Ohuchi of Japan and G. Horwat of Hungary won the 2nd and 3rd places respectively.

One of the best Soviet light heavyweights in the ealy 1970s, Boris Pavlov (1947-2008) of Donetsk, Ukraine was the World Champion (1971), European Champion (1972) and USSR Champion (1972) in the light heavyweight class (82.5kg). His strongest lift was clean-and-jerk. He set 6 world records – 3 in cj and 3 in total.

Pavlov won his first (and last) USSR title at 1972 USSR Championships in Tallinn with a world record – 515kg (170+150+195) in total. A month later he won the 1972 European Championships In Romania and became a very solid candidate to represent the USSR at the Summer Olympics in Munich in a highly competitive 82.5kg class.

The 1972 season seemed to mark the career high performance for Boris Pavlov. However, it ended with a disaster when Pavlov and three other major Soviet contenders for the top medals bombed out at the Olympics in Munich.

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Sultan Rakhmanov: Training with Team CCCP

History in Color @ LiftUp:

January 1980, Podolsk, Russia, USSR– Super heavyweight Sultan Rakhmanov of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine works on the snatch routines in a national team training camp. Also on the photo, other candidates to compete for the USSR at the 1980 Summer Olympics (left to right):

Pavel Syrchin (100kg) , Vasily Denisov (75kg) and Sergey Arakelov (100kg).

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Golden Age of American Weightlifting: At the Muscle Beach, USA (1956)

History in Color:

Muscle Beach, CA, USA, Summer 1956 – Legends of the York Barbell are lifting during a demo session of Olympic weightlifting for a general public at the Muscle Beach, California in 1956.

Heavyweights Paul Anderson and Dave Ashman are seen in the back. Featherweight Isaac Berger grabs everybody’s attention performing a cj lift in the front.

Great lift! Nice jeans!