June 9th, 2018

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To Moscow!.. To Moscow!..


This is not me.

This is a quote from the “Three Sisters” by Russian playwright Anton Chekhov.

On the History in Color cover photo, Olympic Team USA Weightlifting 1980 prior to the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow (left to right):

Front row:

Mike Cohen (82.5kg), Mike Karchut (82.5kg), Joe Puleo (90kg), Cal Shake (67.5kg);

Back row:

Dick Smith (manager), Tom Stock (110+kg), Jim Curry (90kg), Jerry Hannan (110+kg), Brian Derwin (100kg), Kurt Setterberg (220kg), Mark Cameron (110kg), Luke Klaja (90kg), Guy Carlton (100kg), Bob Giordano (110kg), Jim Schmitz (coach)

Very much like in the Chechov’s play, trip to Moscow didn’t happen for Team USA in 1980.


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World Records By Kono


History in Color:

August 29, 1953, Stockholm, Sweden – 23-year old U.S. middleweight Tommy Kono just set a world record in clean-and-jerk the officials are conducting the weigh-in procedure with the new record holder at the 1953 World Championships in Stockholm.

Tommy Kono won his first world title at that tournament in 1953 and set his 3rd and 4th world record – in clean and jerk (168.5kg) and in total 407.5kg (120+120+167.5)



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Anton Kodzhabashev At the 1978 Friendship Cup


History in Color:

March 16, 1978, Moscow, Russia – Junior flyweight Anton Kodzhabashev of Burgas, Bulgaria performs a snatch lift at the 1978 Friendship Cup in Moscow.

Anton Kodzhabashev (b. 1959) went on to win 3 World Championships (1979, 1981, 1982) and 3 European Championships (1979, 1981, 1982) in the bantamweight class and set 4 world records in his career.


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Legendary John Grimek


History in Color:

Legendary bodybuilder and Olympic weightlifter John Grimek (1910-1998) performing Olympic weightlifting in front of the audience back in his prime.

As an Olympic weightlifter, John Grimek competed for the Team USA at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. He won the 9th place with the 357.5kg total (115+105+137.5), Grimek won the U.S. national championship in 1936, vice-championship in 1935 and a bronze medal in 1940.

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Bo Johansson of Sweden


September 26, 1969, Warsaw, Poland – 24-year old Swedish middle heavyweight Bo Johansson wins silver medal at the 1969 World Championships in Warsaw.

Bo Johansson (b. 1945) was one of the best Swedish weightlifters of the 20th century.

He competed for his country at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and finished 4th with 492.5kg (165+145+182.5) total.

At the World Championships, Johansson won silver (1969) and bronze (1971) medals. He also won 3 silver  and one bronze European medals.

Bo Johansson set 5 world records and proudly represents Sweden in the Club 500 with the 542.5kg total reached in the 90kg class in November 1971.

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Royal Handshake In Moscow


September 23, 1975, Moscow, Russia – Vasily Alexeev of Shakhty, Russia just won the World title in the super heavyweight at the 1975 World Championships in Moscow. One of his opponents, the best snatcher in the world, Khristo Plachkov of Asenovgrad, Bulgaria won a bronze medal.

Alexeev just set world records in clean-and-jerk (245.5 kg) and total (427.5kg).

Plachkov won the snatch lifting with a world record (195kg). He failed on the 200kg this time.

In some way, the cover History in Color photo does depict the royal handshake – between the King of Jerk and the King of Snatch.

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Atanas Kirov: The Last World Title


History in Color:

September 16, 1975, Moscow, Russia – Atanas Kirov of Burgas, Bulgaria competes in the 56kg class at the 1975 World Championships in Moscow.

At the Worlds in 1975, Atanas Kirov won a gold medal with the 255kg (110+145) total. He was 29 and it happened to be the last World title in his distinguished career.

Atanas Kirov (1946-2017) is a historical figure in the history of Bulgarian Olympic weightlifting. He was the first Bulgarian weightlifter who won the European Championship for his country. It happened in Warsaw, Poland in 1969.

Kirov was an oustanding bantamweight athlete. He won gold medals at the World Championships in 1973, 1974 and 1975,  the Europeans’ gold in 1969, 1973, 1974 and 1975 and set 2 world records.

On the national level, Atanas Kirov won a remarkable number of gold medals from 1965 to 1979 – 9 !!!!


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Team Bulgaria 1972


History in Color:

May 1972 – Ivan Abadzhiev has assembled the his Team Bulgaria Weightlifting for the 1972 European Championships in Romania (left to right):

Front row:

Ivan Abadzhiev (Head Coach), Norair Nurikian (60kg, silver), Mladen Kuchev (67.5kg, gold), Georgi Todorov (56kg, silver), Mustafa Mustafov (52kg, 4th), Atanas Kirov (56kg, 4th)

Middle row:

Asen Stoev (BWF, President), Executive, Jordan Bikov (75kg, gold), Stefan Tsonchev (67.5kg), Jordan Usunov (massage therapist), Jordan Ivanov (coach)

Top row:

Execitive, George Georgiev (doctor), Dimitar Trombardjiev (110+kg,  BO), Dimitar Slavov (82.5kg) Atanas Shopov (90kg, silver), Andon Nikolov (90kg, bronze), Executive.

Special thanks to Alexander Kraychev for identifying athletes, coaches and other team members. Kraychev was injured and didn’t participate in the 1972 European Championships in Romania in May 1972.

The names of the athletes are followed by their weight class and the place they took in the tournament.