He appeared at the 1977 championships looking huge but out of shape at a bodyweight of over 360 lbs and bluffed his way to the title without taking a third turn in a single exercise, much less setting any records. I saw the televised broadcasts of the 1978 worlds in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and the 1980 Olympics from Moscow but he failed to finish the competitions in both meets. They marked a sad end to the most spectacular career the sport of weightlifting has ever seen.

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

Seen here beginning his quest for his eigth world title, the giant appears on the platform of the 1977 world championships in Stuttgart, Germany.
The master class - Alexeyev preferred training in solitude and Stuttgart proved no exception to this rule. But in this and the next photo he takes time to share some of his winning strategies with one of his young teammates before ushering him and the photographer out of the warmup facility.
A back you could easily show a wide screen movie on. Alexeyev's biographer Ivanov wrote that, when he embraced the strongman as he departed for this championship, his arms could not meet around him.
Greeting his American rival Bruce Wilhelm in the warmup hall in Stuttgart.
Alone again to prepare for victory.
World champion for his eigth consecutive year. On the second place podium is his most ardent emulator, fellow Russian Aslanbek Enaldiev.
Never one to disappoint, in the absence any records at the meet, the champion takes time to sign autographs for his adoring fans.
On November 1, 1977 Alexeyev picked up his 80th and final world record...256 kg (564.5 lbs) in the clean and jerk.
A shot from Gettysburg.
At age 36 the physical stress of the sport had begun to catch up with him. For the first time I watched him withdraw from a competition after popping a tendon in his right thigh on his first attempt in the jerk. He is seen here being helped from the platform following the injury.

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


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