January 18th, 2018

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Second Attempt Of Valery Shary


Weightlifting History in Color:

July 24, 1976, Montreal, Canada – Soviet light heavyweight Valery Shary of Minsk, Belarus, competes in the snatch program of the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.

After a disaster performance in Munich in 1972, it was the second attempt of Valery Shary to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games.

He managed to lift 5 out of 6, snatched 162.5kg, jerked 202.5kg and won the Olympic title in the 82.5kg class with the 365kg total.

1976 Summer Olympics
Location: Montreal, CAN
Weight Class: Light Heavyweight  [82.5 kg]</p>

More Info On 1976 Summer Olympics

Rank Athlete Results (kg)
1 Valery SHARY, Soviet Union 162.5OR+ 202.5OR = 365OR
2 Trendafil STOICHEV, Bulgaria 162.5OR+ 197.5 = 360
3 Peter BACZAKO, Hungary 157.5+ 187.5 = 345
4 Nicolaos ILIADIS, Greece 150+ 190 = 340
5 Juhani AVELLAN, Finland 145+ 185 = 330
6 Stefan JACOBSSON, Sweden 147.5+ 170 = 317.5
7 Sueo FUJISHIRO, Japan 140+ 175 = 315
8 Gerd KENNEL, Germany 135+ 177.5 = 312.5
9 Erling JOHANSEN, Denmark 137.5+ 170 = 307.5
10 Samuel Leo BIGLER, United States 130+ 177.5 = 307.5
11 Pablo JUSTINIANI , Panama 130+ 165 = 295
12 Mehmet SUVAR, Turkey 132.5+ 160 = 292.5
13 Rolf MILSER, West Germany 0+ 205 = 0
14 Lee JAMES, Norway 0+ 0 = 0
15 Pierre ST. JEAN, Canada 0+ 0 = 0
16 Ferenc ANTALOVICS, Hungary 155+ 0 = 0
966 Blagoy BLAGOEV, Bulgaria 162.5+ 200 = 362.5
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Cuba: Numero Uno


The History in Color series features Cuban lightweight champ Roberto Urrutia training in Cuba.

Roberto “Tony” Urrutia (born in 1957) was the first Cuban weightlifter ever to set a world record (1975) and to win a world title (1977).

On December 25, 1975, 18-year old junior lightweight Roberto Urrutia snatched 138.5kg and set the first world record ever for Cuba. In 1977, he won the World Championship in the 67.5kg class in Stuttgart, Germany. It was the first gold medal won by Cuban athletes at the Worlds.

While competing for Cuba, Roberto won three World championships (1977-1979), two Pan American Games (1975, 1979), took the 4th place at the 1976 Summer Olympics and set 6 world records. He was one of the most prominent athletes in his country and enjoyed privileged life of elite weightlifting celebrity in Havana.

While preparing with Team Cuba for the 1980 Olympic tournament in Mexico, Urrutia escaped from the hotel by climbing out of his hotel window on a bed sheet and asked for political asylum in the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.

It was a dramatic turn in the life of a 23-year weightlifting champion. He instantly became a not-to-mention-his-name person in Cuba and had no special status of celebrity in his new country.

He didn’t speak English, had no friends and no income and place to live in his new country.  For months, Olympic hopeful had to sleep in the back seat of an abandoned car in Little Havana in Miami.

He had odd jobs from time to time – worked as a bouncer in the disco club and a cashier in a convenience store. On his first night at the store, it was robbed and one of the world strongest weightlifters in the world was almost shot by intruders at the gun point.

Roberto gained weight – from a lightweight athlete he ballooned into almost 210 pounds at 5-foot-6 frame. He wasn’t up for training. Weightlifting is not a commercial sport in America. Not for newcomers and self-starters in the country for sure.

In fact, he couldn’t even compete for Team USA because he didn’t have a U.S. citizenship.

In the late 1986, Roberto Urrutia became a U.S. citizen and decided to make a huge comeback to the sport of Olympic weightlifting.

He was no longer a 23-year old promising superstar. He was 29 now.

He was deliberately forgotten and marked as traitor in the old country. He had no support or special treatment by the weightlifting officiials in his new country.

He was on his own. And he did it.

Roberto Urrutia, now known mostly as Tony Urrutia returned to the world class weightlifting.

He won 5 national titles in the United States (1987–1989, 1991, and 1992), won a bronze medal at the 1987 Pan Am Games and went on to represent the USA at two more Summer Olympics in his life (1988 and 1992).

Tony Urrutia did it again- he earned respect and brought his name back to the list of elite weightlifting contenders.


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Weightlifting Exhibitionists


History in Color:

Gorky Park, Moscow, 1936 – Pioneers of Soviet weightlifting perform demo lifts in the famous Moscow entertainment and leisure park.

plakat-sov-ta-bukhOn the right, Alexander Bukharov is commenting the event and spotting the athletes.

Alexander Bukharov (1892-1952)was one of the key figures among pioneers of Olympic weightlifting in the USSR. As an athlete he competed in the featherweight and won 2 Russian and 7 USSR titles in 1916-1926 and set 24 USSR records.

Bukharov was highly respected among weightlifters and officials.

He was known as Uncle Sasha among athletes and earned a reputation of a phenomenal weightlifting manager after he retired from active lifting.