1976 Montreal Olympics- The Strongest Man In The World- Vasily Alekseyev Of The U.S.S.R.


Vasily Alekseyev, called The Strongest Man in the world in the 1970’s put weightlifting on the map. He was incredible. He won gold in the 1972 Munich Games and again in the 1976 Montreal Games. He was an 8 time World Champion winning every year from 1970 to 1977. He set 80 World Records and 81 Soviet records.



Vasily Alekseyev was born in 1942. At age 18 he began training as a weightlifter. He was a huge man 6’1 and 357 pounds.

In his first world championship held in Columbus,Ohio the great Alekseyev became the first weightlifter to ever clean and jerk 500 pounds.

Alekseyev was also smart, he would receive bonus funds each time he broke a world record, so what he would do was just break the record by 1.1 pounds each time. His prime was 1970-1977. He was a disappointment in the 1980 Moscow Games.


We were supposed to root against the Soviets back then but it was impossible to root against Vasily Alekseyev, at least for me it was. They would not only show him during the Olympics but the world championships were always shown on “The Wide World Of Sports” and Vasily Alekseyev kind of had “rock star’ statue. In 1999 in Greece he was named “Sportsman of the Century” The great Alekseyev passed away last November at age 69.


2 responses to “1976 Montreal Olympics- The Strongest Man In The World- Vasily Alekseyev Of The U.S.S.R.

  1. This brought back some great memories. As you said, I remember growing up and always seeing him on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. I didn’t know he recently passed. Sad, but what a great life he had.

    • I have great memories of watching Wide World of Sports with my grandfather who just loved it when Aleksayev was on. Yes he had a remarkable life!!

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