July 24th, 2016

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Good luck to all who about to start competing in Rio.

All these recent anti-doping scandals and media trips into the dark corners of sports  can be a distraction from the essential part of any sport – training and competition.   Watching how athletes are getting ready to the main meets of the sports lives, I do this excursions to my past – remembering my teachers, teammates and the legends of the sports we always learned and got inspiration from.

Here is the exercise widely popularized by Vasily Alexeev in the 1970s.

Alexeev was a super talent, highly successful super heavyweight  and a peculiar personality.

He trained alone.

Very few were allowed to attend his training sessions. Stories were told about special lifts and equipment that Alexeev invented to improve his results. Sometimes we were able to get a glimpse of these lifts.

Some were rather doubtful in terms of their usefulness. I always thought that photos of Vasily Alexeev doing cleans in the Don river were more of a publicity stint than actual lifts to be used in training.

Some were really helpful. We really loved this back bends shown in the attached video.

I always listed it in my training diaries as “Alexeev’s bends over the vaulting horse”.

Imagine how disappointed I was to find out much later that it was called hyperextensions and invented before Alexeev was born.

I am not sure if he really developed it from scratch or borrowed the concept from some magazine or something he saw during his lifting career in the gyms abroad.

Regardless of the name of the inventor, I found it useful and learned it from Vasily Alexeev.

Just some memories and happy lifting in Rio!



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Special Flight to Rio-2016


How did “Daily Mail” know the day before the awaited announcement on Sunday that “Russia to be booted out of the Olympics by the International Olympic Committee”?

Perhaps, it is a highly anticipated verdict…

My favorite part is about team Russia being out but “that would mean Vladimir Putin, as head of state, could attend.”

Imagine empty plane from Moscow to Rio…

Where in the world is Rio de Janeiro?

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Russia Goes to Rio: Can't Buy Me Love, Love.


According to the decision of the IOC Executive Board concerning the participation of Russian athletes in the Olympic Games Rio 2016, Russian athletes will be allowed to compete at the Summer Olympics this year.

There are many conditions for the cases outlined in the decision, but overall the latest news from Lausanne were very good for Russian athletes who were eager to compete.

I can only imagine the relief they feel in Moscow now. I also understand the frustraition of some who might consider it a very soft decision about the team that had multiple cases of usage of banned substances and even got accused of using state run secret service to cheat with Olympic medals and athletes placement in the competition.

I think that if sports cheating is not a really epidemic phenomenon in sports in Russia today, then honest and fair athletes deserve a chance to compete.

Russian competitors are going to be marked men in Rio and in many years to come. At the 2016 Olympics, everybody will be impatiently waiting for the test results from WADA. This time it will be a test not for a few athletes or disciplines but for the whole Russian sports.

The time for politics and lobbying in over now.

The damage to the reputation of Russian sports has been done. Who would want to play games with con artists from now on?

Changes to come are long overdue. Changes to come are long term.

In the end, it is all like in the Beatles song.

Can’t Buy Me Love, Love.

It might take a long time for Russia to get the love and admiration of its sports personalities again.

Can’t Buy Me Love.



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Wannabe a Friend?


Do you want to be my friend?

This is one of our regulars, Mr. Northern Cardinal, Jr.

He always asks us this question with an awfully cute smile on his face.

Last year, it was his father Mr. Northern Cardinal, Sr.asking us the same question.

Do you want to be my friend?

And before we get a chance to answer, he is already giggling in the bushes 15 feet away.

Maybe, it is just a funny thought  – being a friend with a wild bird.

Not sure.