Russian Weightlifting Legend Yury Vlasov, Olympic Champion Dies At 85

In 1960 he won the gold medal at the Rome Games, setting two world records and becoming the first man to lift more than 200 kilos in the two-stroke mode.

Soviet Olympic weightlifting champion Yury Vlasov died this Saturday, February 13 at the age of 85. The news was made known through the social networks of the also weightlifter Mikhail Koklyayev and later confirmed to Russian media by the president of the Russian Weightlifting Federation, Maksim Agápitov.

In dialogue with the TASS agency, the daughter of the also politician and writer assured that his death was sporadic and sudden since he had not been ill recently and never even suffered from covid-19. On January 21, he had been hospitalized in an intensive care unit, but then his condition improved and he was transferred to a general ward.

Between the 1950s and 1960s, Vlasov won several world championships. He was five times champion of the then Soviet Union and six times of Europe. At the Olympic Games in Rome in 1960, he won the gold medal in the category of more than 90 kilograms, setting two world records and becoming the first man to lift more than 200 kilos in the two-stroke mode (clean and clean). At the 1964 Tokyo Games, he won the silver medal.

The weightlifter became a professional writer and journalist years before retiring from competitions to later venture into politics. From 1985 to 1987, he was president of the USSR Weightlifting Federation and later headed the Federation of Athletic Gymnastics. From 1989 to 1991, he was a people’s deputy and a few years later a member of the State Duma. In 1996 he ran for president of Russia.

Vlasov’s popularity crossed the borders of the USSR and he became an idol for former fisiculturist and seven-time Mister Olympia winner Arnold Schwarzenegger, who considered him one of the main motivations in his career. The two met for the first time at the Vienna World Championships in 1961 when the Austrian-born actor was just 14 years old. In 1988, Schwarzenegger and Vlasov officially met at the insistence of the Hollywood star, who was filming a movie in Moscow at the time. On that occasion, the actor gave the retired athlete a photograph of him signed with the legend: “For my idol Yury Vlasov.”

Amelia Warner– After graduating from NYU with a master's degree in history, She was also a columnist for many local newspapers. Amelia Warner mostly covers Entertainment topics, but at times loves to write about movie reviews as well.

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