March 19th, 2017

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Coaches and Athletes: Plyukfelder and Rigert


The duo Rudolph Plyukfelder and David Rigert was perhaps one of the most inspiring example of work between coaches and athletes in the history of Olympic weightlifting.

Plyukfelder (b. 1928) had an outstanding career as a lifter. He was an Olympic champion (1964, Tokyo) and he was one of the best light heavyweights (82.5kg) in the world from the late 1950s to mid 1960s.

As a coach, Rudolph Plyukfelder was the founder of the famous weightlifting school in Shakhty, Russia and prepared numerous great weightlifters. He had an unmatched score in making Olympic and world champions which included  Alexey Vakhonin, David Rigert, Nikolay Kolesnikov, Gennady Bessonov, Vasily Alexeev, Gennady Chetin and more.

David Rigert was a “miracle boy” for Plyukfelder’s training methodology. In a year, he made a USSR champion and worldclass contender from an unknown master of sports that began to lift weights while serving in the Army.

The cover photo features the moment of joy when David Rigert and Rudolph Plyukfelder received the gold medals at the national championship.

The Lift Up: History in Color continues…


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Igor Rybak


Igor Rybak (1934-2005) of Kharkov, Ukraine was one of the first Soviet Olympic champions.

He won the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne with a 380kg total (110+120+150) in the 67.5kg weightclass. In the same year he became the USSR champion and the champion of the Soviet Spartakiad (67.5kg) and became the European champion in Helsinki  (75kg).

Three years later Rybak graduated from the medical school in Kharkov and became a doctor. He held PhD in the medical sciences.

The Lift Up: History in Color continues…



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Bob Hoffman and Team USA (1958)


The Lift Up: History in Color series at Chidlovski Blog Chidlovski presents the cover photo with Bob Hoffman (1898-1985) of York Barbell and Team USA at the opening of the USA vs USSR weightlifting match in Chicago.

Left to right:

John Terpak, Bob Hoffman, Chuck Vinci (56kg, York Barbell), Ike Berger (60kg, , York Barbell), Joe Pitman (67.5kg, York Barbell), Clarence Johnson (IWF), translator (?), event organizer (?), Jim Bradford (90+kg, Bradford Barbell)

The competition event took place on May 12, 1958.