March 5th, 2021

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Grigory Novak Wins a World Title in Paris (1946)

March 5, 2021 – Legendary Grigory Novak (1919-1980), the first Soviet World champion and a great athlete and entertainer, would have celebrated his 102nd birthday today.

History in Color:

October 19, 1946, Paris, France – 27-year old Grigory Novak of Team USSR makes a bold first appearance at the World Championships in Paris.

It was the first World Championships ever for the Soviet weightlifters. Grigory Novak won the World title in the 82.5kg class and became the first ever Soviet champion in the World in all sports.

The Soviet fans instantly got a national hero in Grigory Novak. He became one of the most popular sports personality in the country.

As for the World of Olympic weightlifting, they got a new king of the press lift. Grigory Novak is still being remembered as one of the most impressive strict style pressers of all times and nations.

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Alexander Kurlovich (Belarus, USSR): The Last Champion of the USSR (1991)

History in Color:

August 16, 1991, Donetsk, Ukraine – 30-year old super heavyweight Alexander Kurlovich of Grodno, Belarus, USSR competes in the 110+kg weight class at the 1991 USSR Spartakiade and 1991 USSR Spartakiade in Donetsk.

After 1991, there were no more USSR and no more USSR championships held.

No more C.C.C.P.  The end of the era.

And Alexander Kurlovich won the last gold medals at the USSR Championships:

1991 Championships of the USSR
Location: Donetsk Ukraine
Weight Class: Super Heavyweight  [110+ kg]</p>

More Info On the 1991 Championships of the USSR

Rank Athlete Results (kg)
1 Alexander  KURLOVICH,   Belorussia 455 = 207.5+247.5
2 Sergey  DIDYK,   Ukraine 427.5 = 187.5+240
3 Sergey  NAGIRNY,   Ukraine 425 = 190+235

Alexander Kurlovich (1961-2018) was one of all-time best athletes in a super heavyweight class. A 3-time Olympian and 2x Olympic champion,  Kurlovich competed at three Summer Olympics in 1988 (for the USSR), 1992 (for the Unified Team) and 1996 (for Belarus). Alexander won gold Olympic medals in the 110+kg class in Seoul (1988) and Barcelona (1992).

A native of Belorussia, Kurlovitch won gold medals at 4 World Championships (1987, 1989, 1991, 1994), 3 European Championships (1989, 1990) and 2 USSR Championships (1983, 1991). In his career, Alexander set 12 world records in a super heavyweight class.