After nearly disappearing from the sport during 1974, Alexeyev emerged in 1975 with a vengeance. Unrelenting performances on the platforms of the 1975 world championships in Moscow and the 1976 Olympics in Montreal re-established his dominance in weightlifting. While records followed in 1977, these two years are his swan song in my estimation.

(click the mini-image to see the picture full sized)

Just your average backyard lifter. This and the next three pictures were taken in October of 1974 and accompanied the cover story that appeared in the April 14, 1975 issue of Sports Illustrated.
A rare glimpse at the trophy room inside the strongman's home. At the time these photos were taken Alexeyev weighed 324 lbs.
"To make something in the earth, that is the best relaxation," he told William O. Johnson of Sports Illustrated.
He prepared this meal himself for his American interviewer.
At the 1975 worlds in Moscow Alexeyev was in his peak condition. Weighing in here at 350 lbs, he looks confident there's nothing he can't lift. Look at the growth in his muscle mass. If you've ever seen a bear stand on its hind legs then you can understand how he came by his well deserved nickname of "the Russian Bear".
Not a record, perhaps...but enough to whet the appetite of the home crowd. Next up - the clean and jerk.
Vasily is making his approach to a barbell weighing 245.5 kg (a little over 541 lbs) for his final attempt in the clean and jerk at the Moscow championships.
Ever the consummate showman, he flexes a little for the anxious spectators before tackling the record...
...then drives up for the clean with astonishing ease.
Seeming to push it overhead with his arms alone, he secured his 72nd world record and sixth consecutive world title. Even the deafening cheers of the capacity crowd couldn't drown out the crash of the record weight as it struck the platform after his release.
As unstoppable as ever, Alexeyev closes out his turns in the snatch at the Montreal games with an Olympic record of 185 kg (408 lbs).
He was already 30 lbs ahead of his nearest competitor after his opening jerk of 507 lbs, but decided the win called for a world record and took a second turn with 255 kg (562 lbs).
To add some perspective to this incredible achievement, notice here that, in cleaning the record, he caught it well above parallel!
On the victory platform in Montreal with Gerd Bonk (left) and Helmut Losch (right).
The playing of the Soviet national anthem during the medal ceremony in Montreal.
This was taken at a party in Moscow for the Soviet medalists of the 1976 Montreal games. See how, at 345 lbs, he dwarfs the other victors around him.

Vasily Alexeyev:
1980 - The Final Bow
The Munich Photo Album
The Video Captures
The McKeon Collection
Odds & Ends

This way to the Serge Reding gallery

This way to the Various Lifters gallery

This way to the Strength Athletes gallery


Welcome Page | About this Site | What's New? | The Exhibits | Links