November 16th, 2018

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Paul Anderson: Circus Act in Leningrad (1955)

History in Color

June 18, 1955, Leningrad, Russia – Paul Anderson of Team USA competes in the 90+kg class in the second match of the historical USA vs. USSR Olympic weightlifting meet held in the Leningrad Circus Arena.

In the first match, Anderson outlifted Alexey Medvedev of the USSR by 65kg in total. In Leningrad, Medvedev was replaced with Yevgeny Novikov of Belarus, USSR and Anderson won again. This time by 62.5kg.

90+ kg 6/18/1955 1 Paul ANDERSON 512.5 180+142.5+190
90+ kg 6/18/1955 2 Yevgeny NOVIKOV 450 152.5+127.5+170

It was the first ever visit of the American sports teams to Russia during the Cold War time. Thousands of Russian spectators were following Paul Anderson in Moscow to get a glimpse of the Miracle of Nature, the strongest men they’ve ever seen!

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Roberto "Tony" Urrutia (Cuba)

The History in Color series features 18-year old junior lightweight Roberto Urrutia of Team Cuba competing in a weightlifting tournament in Camaguey, Cuba in 1975.

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 Cuba and enjoyed privileged life of elite weightlifting celebrity in Havana.