February 25th, 2019

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Olympic Hopes of Bulgaria in Training

History in Color:

Sofia, Bulgaria, early 1970s – Student weightlifters are perfomning a clean-and-jerk lift in training at the Youth Sports School in Sofia (left to right):

Left to right:

Nedelcho Kolev, Alexander Kraychev, Andon Nikolov, X, Yordan Bikov (cj lift), Encho Enchev, Dimitar Slavov.

In Bulgaria, they were called “Olympic Hopes”. In a few years to come, hopes will turn into reality.

Many of them will become world famous athletes with remarkable achievements in the sport of Olympic weightlifting.

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Athletes and Coaches: Dean Lukin and Leon Holme

October 19, 1985, Sydney, Australia – Olympic champion Dean Lukin and his coach Leon Holme are about ready to deliver another present for Australia at the 1985 Australian Weightlifting Championships at the Homebush Sports Centre. In a few minutes, Dean Lukin will set a new Australian and Commonwealth record (240.5kg) in his fourth attempt in the clean-and-jerk.


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Kanybek Osmonaliev Becomes an Olympic Champion in 1980

History in Color:

July 20, 1980, Moscow, Russia – Soviet flyweight Kanybek Osmonaliev of Frunze, Kirgizia wins a gold medal in the 52kg class for  at the 1980 Summer Olympics at the Izvaylovo Weightlifting Arena Moscow.

Kanybek Osmonaliev (b. 1953) was a phenomenal flyweight of Team CCCP. From mid 1970s to mid 1980s, he won the 1980 Olympics, 4 World championships, 2 European Championships and 2 USSR Championships. His official personal best total was 247.5kg (110+137.5) and it was reached when he won a World title at the 1981 World Championships on September 14, 1981 in Lille, France.

Besides the medals and results, he was an outstanding athlete – a hardworker in training, a clutch lifter in the competition and an exemplary character.

If you asked me at the time when I was an aspiring weightlifter, Kanybek Osmonaliev was on the very top of the list of my favorite Olympic weightlifters.

That’s for sure – Kanybek Osmonaliev was a pure inspiration and #1 for me.