March 23rd, 2019

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Rafael Chimishkyan: Happy 90th Birthday!

March 19, 2019 – Happy Birthday to legendary Rafael Chimishkyan of Georgia!

Today we celebrate his 90th birthday!

He is still active, has a great sense of humor and very charismatic.

Time didn’t change Rafael Chimishkyan, a true champion and legend of Olympic weightlifting.

Rafael Chimishkyan (b. 1929) competed in the 60kg class for Tbilisi, Georgia.

He was the second Soviet Olympic champion in weightlifting and the first Georgian champion of the Summer Olympics. It all happened on July 25, 1952 at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. 23-year old Chimishkyan lifted the new world record in total 337.5kg and won a gold medal in the 60kg class. Needless to say, Chimishlyan victory was rather a surprise. He was considered a back-up to a more solid and experienced Nilolay Saxonov on the Team USSR Weightlifting but Chimishkyan was truly brilliant in Helsinki.

In his career, Chimishkyan had 2 golds and 2 silvers at the World championships, 5 gold and 1 siver medals at the European championships, 5 gold, 5 silver  and 3 broze medals at the USSR Championships.

Rafael Chimishkyan also set 10 world records.