February 9th, 2021

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Ota Zaremba (Czechoslovakia): Leningrad, 1979


History in Color:

August 1, 1979, Leningrad, Russia, USSR – 22-year old Ota Zaremba of Team Czechoslovakia competes in the 100kg weight class at the 1979 USSR Spartakiade and 1979 USSR Championships in Leningrad.


Zaremba was one of the foreign weightlifters that were invited to participate in the Soviet national championships in 1979. He snatched 170kg and didn’t lift in the clean-and-jerk program because of the injury.


The next year at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, Ota Zaremba became an Olympic champion in the 100kg class with a 395kg (180+215) total.




Ota Zaremba (b. 1957) is one of the most successful Czech weightlifters of all times.


The were three Olympic weightlifting champions in the history of Czechoslovakia. Heavyweight Jaroslav Skobla won the title in Los Angeles in 1932. Middleweight Hans Zdrazila won a gold medal in Tokyo in 1964. Finally,  Ota Zaremba became an Olympic champion in 1980.


Needless to say, Zaremba won his gold in Mowsow in the 100kg weight class, that was a perfect outlet for the Soviets. At the time, Team USSR had about two dozens atheletes who could have potentially won any international contest in this class. However, it was Ota Zaremba who won the gold in Moscow.


Zaremba lifted for the national team of his country for 10 years – from 1977 to 1987. Besides being an Olympic champion, Zaremba ia World champion (1980), 5x national champion of Czechoslovakia (1979, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1985) and a holder of 3 world records (two in snatch and one in total)


For his heroics at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, Ota Zaremba received the Best Athlete of Czechoslovakia in 1980.