November 8th, 2020

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1964 Olymians Ernesto Varona (Cuba) and Viktor Kurentsov (USSR) in Tokyo


November 7, 2020: Happy 80th Birthday to Cuban heavyweight champion and Olympian Ernesto Varona!


History in Color:

Tokyo, Japan, October 1964 – Cuban Olympian Ernesto Varona visits an outdoor training camp of Team USSR weightlifting in Tokyo before the opening of the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and has a friendly conversation with a legendary Soviet middleweight Viktor Kurentsov.


Both athletes were 23 at the time and the 1964 Olympics was the first Olympic tournament in their careers.


Ernesto Varona’s bodyweight was 111.5kg and he took the 15th place in the 90kg+ weight class. Later in his career, Ernesto won a silver medal at the 1967 Pan American Games in Winnipeg.


Viktor Kurentsov ended up with a silver medal in the 75kg class in Tokyo. He became an Olympic champion four years later in Mexico City and managed to win 5 World titles and 7 European titles throughout his outstanding career in Olympic weightlifting.