January 30th, 2017

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Ivan Abadzhiev

Ivan Abadzhiev

The enhanced archival photo depicts the coach of Team Bulgaria Ivan Abadzhiev doing a high pull of 300kg (660 lbs) in the training camp.

Abadzhiev is barefeet.

The boy at the volleyball court behind Abadzhiev looks impressed. Perhaps, he is trying to make a choice between the soccer and volleyball. Instead, his mind is changing towards the Olympic weightlifting.

I don’t know. I am just looking at the photo and guessing.

I don’t know the date the this photo is made. My guess it is mid to late 1970s. Abadzhiev is in his 40s. The old Russian “leningradka” weights. Made in USSR…

As a competitive weightlifter, Ivan Abadzhiev won silver medal at the 1957 World Championship in the light weightclass. He competed for many years for the Bulgarian national team.

As a coach, he led Team Bulgaria for two decades. Later, he coached Turkish team. He prepared 12 Olympic champions, 13 silver and 5 bronze medalists of the Olympics, 57 world champions and 64 European champions.

Last but not least, he authored the so-called “Bulgarian System” of training that revolutionized and streamlined the training process back in the early 1970s.

From the prospective of weightlifting federations, he is an outlaw now. Persona non grata. In the United States, there was an official ban for allowing him to train or present lectures in the U.S. weightlifting facilities. Nevertheless, his training and public speaking sessions were attended with a full house.

Just a blast from the past on the cover photo enhances for the Lift Up

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Riga, Latvia, 1963 – Alexander Dynnikov is performing a cj lift of 121.5kg and breaks a record of Latvia in the 56kg weight class.

The original black-and-white photo came to me from the personal archives of Mr. Alexander Dynnikov. I love to look at the old photos… I had an arrangement for an interview with Dynnikov.

However, those were times when most oldtime lifters had a very limited or no Internet access at all. I needed some time to prepare for the interview. I didn’t want to ask just formal questions and I needed to do some research on him and his career.

Then, I got caught up with other priorities.

In a few months, I learned that Dynnikov died… It was very sad to hear that.

I don’t have his interview. I have a picture from his archives and some tidbids from my research.

Dynnikov had a long and solid career in Olympic weightlifting. He set 54 records of Latvia and won the title of the Champion of Latvia 14 times. His first title came in 1958 and the last one in 1975!

On the national arena, he won the bronze medals at the USSR championships in 1961 and 1972. He won the 1970 USSR Cup in total and became USSR champion in the snatch and in the cj lifts.

In his prime, he mostly competed in the 52kg and in the 56kg categories. In fact, he set the first national records in the snatch in the 52kg class when it was established.

Just a blast from the past on the cover photo enhanced for the Lift Up