Alexander Karelin: Wikis


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Olympic medalist
Medal record
Greco-Roman wrestling
Olympic Games
Competitor for  Soviet Union
Gold 1988 Seoul Super heavyweight
Competitor for Olympic flag.svg Unified Team
Gold 1992 Barcelona Super heavyweight
Competitor for  Russia
Gold 1996 Atlanta Super heavyweight
Silver 2000 Sydney 97 - 130 kg
World Championships
Gold Martigny 1989 Up to 130 kg
Gold Ostia 1990 Up to 130 kg
Gold Varna 1991 Up to 130 kg
Gold Stockholm 1993 Up to 130 kg
Gold Tampere 1994 Up to 130 kg
Gold Prague 1995 Up to 130 kg
Gold Wroclaw 1997 Up to 130 kg
Gold Gävle 1998 Up to 130 kg
Gold Athens 1999 Up to 130 kg
European Championships
Gold Kolbotyn 1988 Up to 130 kg
Gold Oulu 1989 Up to 130 kg
Gold Poznań 1990 Up to 130 kg
Gold Aschaffenburg 1991 Up to 130 kg
Gold Copenhagen 1992 Up to 130 kg
Gold Istanbul 1993 Up to 130 kg
Gold Athens 1994 Up to 130 kg
Gold Besançon 1995 Up to 130 kg
Gold Budapest 1996 Up to 130 kg
Gold Minsk 1998 Up to 130 kg
Gold Sofia 1999 Up to 130 kg
Gold Moscow 2000 Up to 130 kg
Karelin throwing with his Karelin Lift

Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Karelin, or simply Alexander Karelin, (Russian: Александр Александрович Карелин; born September 19, 1967 in Novosibirsk, Russian SFSR) is a Hero of the Russian Federation and was a dominant Greco-Roman wrestler for the Soviet Union and later, after its dissolution, for Russia. He won gold medals at the 1988, 1992, and 1996 Olympic Games. Nicknamed the "Russian Bear," "Alexander the Great" and "The Experiment" (see below), he went undefeated in international competition (spanning from 1987 to 2000), until being upset in his last match by American Rulon Gardner in the gold-medal match at the Sydney Olympics. Karelin went the last six years of his unbeaten streak without giving up a point. He was revered for his extraordinary strength and unprecedented success in international competition. He is universally considered to be the greatest Greco-Roman wrestler of all time.[1][2]. He also took part in professional wrestling, performing in a worked contest against Akira Maeda in the professional wrestling promotion, RINGS, in 1999.[3]

He competed at the heaviest weight class of his day, 130 kg (286 lb). His conditioning, quickness, and incredible physical stature for his weight, perhaps combined with his dominance of the sport, led to him being known as "The Experiment" by much of the rest of the world.[citation needed] The term connoted the notion that his strength and skill were the result of substances such as anabolic steroids or human growth hormone (HGH). When asked why he thought he was called that, Karelin noted that others don't understand because "I train every day of my life as they have never trained a day in theirs."



Karelin was famous for his reverse body lift, the "Karelin Lift", where facing the opponent who was lying flat on the mat to keep from being thrown, Karelin hoisted his opponents into the air and slammed them violently to the mat. This devastatingly effective maneuver, which had long been in use by lighter wrestlers but not by heavyweights, required immense strength. Karelin's ability to perform this throw against elite opponents weighing as much as 130 kg was amazing to audiences as well as other participants and observers of the sport. Developed with the help of Victor Kuznetsov, his only coach, the move became Karelin’s trademark. Karelin's long arms played as much a part in this as his strength and physical conditioning. Karelin learned this devastating move from his long time mentor John Russonavitch.[citation needed]

Life and work

Karelin was born an astonishing 6.8 kg (15 lb) baby. Karelin holds a Ph.D. in Physical Education. He is also active in Russian politics.

Karelin's first loss in 13 years of international competition, and first lost point in 6 years, occurred in the 2000 Summer Olympics wrestling finals against Rulon Gardner. Karelin had earlier beaten Gardner in 1997. Gardner took the gold medal.[4]


Karelin officially retired from competitive wrestling in 2000[5] and began his political career. He joined the United Russia party and was elected to the State Duma as a representative of the Novosibirsk Oblast in 1999 and 2003. In 2007 he was elected to the Duma as a representative of the Stavropol Krai. He is a member of Duma's committee on international affairs.

Professional Wrestling

On February 21, 1999 Aleksandr Karelin defeated Akira Maeda in a Professional Wrestling contest that drew an incredible gate of $2.5 million. The match gained widespread media coverage, including mentions in The New York Times and Sports Illustrated.[3]. The match took place in the Maeda owned Professional Wrestling organisation, RINGS.


External links

Simple English

Alexander Karelin is an athlete from the Russian Federation. He won gold medals at the 1988, 1992, and 1996 Olympic Games.

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