Two gold medals earned in +110 kg category at the Olympic Games, held in Munich and Montreal in 1972 and 1976, respectively
Eight Gold medals at the World Weightlifting Championships in +110 kg category, held in between 1970-1977
Eight gold medals at the European Weightlifting Championships from 1970 to 1978
One bronze medal and seven gold medals at the USSR Weightlifting Championships from 1968 to 1976
Two gold medals at the "Summer Spartakiad of the USSR", held in Moscow and Vilnius in 1971 and 1975, respectively
Bagged a total of nine gold medals at the "Cups of USSR": four in 1970, two in 1972 and three in 1974
The famous magazine "Sports Illustrated" featured him at the cover page with a title "World's Strongest Man" in 1975
"Order of Friendship of Peoples" and "Order of the Badge of Honour" in 1970
Awarded "Order of Lenin" and "Order of Red Banner of Labor" in 1972
Elected as a member of the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame in 1993
Vasily Alekseyev was a strong Soviet Weightlifter who had set 80 world records and earned two gold medals in +110 kg category at two consecutive Olympic events: in 1972 and 1976. He was a sturdy performer who held the title of European Champion as well as the World Champion for a span of eight years. His weightlifting records of 256 kg in Clean & Jerk, 187.5 kg in Snatch and 236.5 kg in Clean & Press are counted as the best lifts of his times.
Photo Credits: wikimedia.org
Vasily was born on 7th January 1942 in Pokrovo-Shishkino, Ryazan Oblast, Russia. It was at the age of 18 when he decided to pursue the sport and started lifting weights at the Voluntary Sports Society at his hometown under the guidance of Rudolf Plykfelder (Ukrainian Weightlifter). After some years, Vasily started training by self, hard enough to reign the world of weightlifting. He registered his first world record in 1970 and soon became a prominent weightlifter of the Soviet Union who lifted up over 500 lbs in Clean & Jerk at the World Weightlifting Championship. Vasily created a series of world records, lifting 0.5 kg more each time and raising the name of his nation at the World level events.
Vasily successfully dominated the weightlifting arena in the Soviet Union for almost seven years. The Russian Federation awarded him bonus points each time he gave a record-breaking performance. He never won for his own but for his nation- Soviet Union, addressing all his accolades as the nation’s property. He had led a life that inspires burgeoning performers. Vasily believed that one should follow both one's heart and brain. Besides being a successful weightlifter and one of the heroes of the Soviet Union, he was a lively person who loved to read and enjoy all aspects of life. Vasily was a mining engineer who was fond of music, gardening and carpenting.
Photo Credits: iwf.net
After reigning the world of weightlifting for years, he took retirement from the sport in 1980,after performing at the Moscow Olympics. Realizing that his age would not permit him to hold weights any longer, he decided to coach the raw potential for the rest of his life. On 25th November 2011, at the age of 69, Vasily lost his battle of life due to severe heart infirmity. The Russian Federation marked him as "one of the Strongest People in the World". A monument was built in 2014 at Shakhty, where he spent a major part of his life along with a street and park that were named in his honour. Indeed, his life is a legend that will always inspire the world to never quit dreams and work on them even harder.