January 13th, 2017

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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!



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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.