Voices from Russia

Sunday, 27 August 2017

27 August 2017. A A Karelin on How He Achieved Strength (and it Wasn’t Drugs)



In March 1981, Novosibirsk coach V M Kuznetsov came to School Nr 19 and invited me to join his team. At the first lesson, Viktor Mikhailovich said:

If you want to succeed, don’t skip a workout; the main thing in sport isn’t the result, but the process of achieving it, to work on yourself.

A A Karelin

World Champion Greco-Roman Wrestler

Honoured Master of Sport

RF Gosduma Deputy


A A Karelin is an amazing man. At birth, he weighed 5.5 kilos (!). He never used drugs, he simply worked out… with such a natural endowment, he didn’t need much! he International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) named him the greatest Greco-Roman rassler of the 20th century, and he was one of the ten inaugural inductees into the FILA International Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2003. He holds a Doktora Nauka in Pedagogical Sciences and a law degree, as well as sitting on the RF Gosduma International Affairs Committee. He responded to critics who accused him of using enhancement drugs by saying:

I train every day of my life as they’ve never trained a day in theirs.

How can you not respect such a man?

На многая лета, Александр Александрович!



Friday, 21 February 2014

Thank Zeus… Olympics Reinstate Wrestling

00 Aleksandr Karelin. wrestling. 21.02.14

Three-time Olympic Graeco-Roman Wrestling champion Honored Master of Sport Aleksandr Karelin (one of the greatest bad-asses of all time)… he took part in the Sochi opening ceremony… Ura!


Editor’s Note:

Yes, this is an “old” item… but I wanted to get away from the Ukrainian crisis for a while, and post some GOOD NEWS. This is good news, indeed… ‘rasslin lies at the heart of the Olympics. It’s good to see a prole sport beat out a rich man’s so-called “sport” like squash. There are SOME things RIGHT with the world, after all…



Wrestling will stay an Olympic sport, per an emotional International Olympic Committee vote in Buenos Aires on Sunday 8 September 2013. Wrestling beat out squash and baseball/softball to remain on the programme during the 2020 Olympic Games and beyond. The IOC slashed wrestling back in February, but after seven months of campaigning by FILA, wrestling’s international governing body, and many rule changes, the ancient sport will continue to grace the Olympic Games. According to Nenad Lalović, President of FILA, cheers, applause, and tears of joy followed Sunday’s vote by the IOC in Buenos Aires on Sunday, after it announced that wrestling would remain an Olympic sport past 2016. He said, “Everybody jumped and screamed and I saw tears in the eyes of men who were 80-years-old. That was fantastic”.

It was an emotional triumph. It followed a seven-month campaign that began last February, when the IOC surprisingly slashed wrestling from the Olympic programme past 2016. Since then, wrestling made it to a final round of runoffs that had it up against two other sports battling for a final spot, baseball/softball, and squash. Whilst Lalović said he didn’t see the other presentations, so he couldn’t pass judgement on them, he knew that he had tradition on his side the entire time. After all, wrestling is a fundamental elemental Olympic sport. It had an honoured role in the original Olympics of Athens, in Ancient Greece. Lalović noted, “You have to understand that it was very difficult because the burden we carried on our back was bigger than the other sports had. We were fighting to survive; for them, that was it, they’re not in. They’ll be in one day, but for us it was much more difficult, especially on the emotional side”.

According to Lalović, wrestling was losing steam in the international community. The rules were too confusing, it wasn’t entertaining to watch, and the wrestling community did little to promote itself on the global stage. Since the so called “wake-up call” seven months ago, Lalović said FILA introduced many changes to make the sport more entertaining, saying, “We had to update our sport. We received the message and understood it very well, and found a way to be back. We succeeded in that, and, one day, maybe, this 8th of September will be the greatest day in wrestling history. We learned what we had to learn”.

Lalović vowed to change FILA’s constitution to increase the number of weight classes for women, as well as add a female vice president to the board, something that’s in line with the IOC’s request to make the sport more female-friendly. Additional rule changes include penalising wrestlers who are overly passive, and an amendment to the points system, all of which, according to Lalović, will make the sport more enjoyable to watch. Lalović said the fight isn’t over, and they’ll adopt more rule changes in future to keep wrestling up-to-date with international demand.

9 September 2013

Vasili Sushko

Voice of Russia World Service


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