“To the end….”

March 29th 2010, Old Country Strong posted its first Article…

I guess you couldn’t even call it an article, it was just a video clip with the header “More to come just getting started”

If you’re not familiar with the lifter in the video then you need do ONE simple thing.

Get the palm of your right hand in front of your face and look at it. Take a good hard look at it. Next take your left hand and using its palm smack your right hand into your face as hard as you can. Because thats what you need to do for not recognizing Vasily Alexeev.

That man is a Force of Nature. Vasily is Old Country Strong.

My Ma was a Historian by trade and my childhood was spent in a house that was full on antiques. And I’m not talking dusty old lamp shades or china collections here. No we had original FBI Wanted posters, our fridge was a top opening Coke-a-Cola IceBox, the radio was replaced with a fully functioning Juke Box and we had a first print Nude calendar of Marilyn Monroe decorating our house. So you can a imagine I grew up with an affinity for Old School.

Where does this tie in with Vasily? Well I was just getting there. My first true athletic obsession growing up was wrestling. My parent had grown up in Iowa and my Old Man had gone to the Rival high School of Dan Gable. Again if these names are losing you place your hand in front of your face and slap yourself like Rick James. And when I met Dan at the Iowa Wrestling Camp my Ma went up and asked him how he’d been.
My heart kinda stopped.
Dan Gable knew my Ma. Dan Gable referenced my Dad, “Has Mike and Tom finally settled down?”(If you’ve never read this site before my Dad is a wrecking crew of Badass). It was after that first Iowa Wrestling camp that my Ma took me to the Iowa Wrestling museum. Iowa has a very rich wrestling tradition.

So we’re starting to come full circle finally. Of course my Ma would take me to a museum being a historian. It was the coolest museum I’d every been to. It took wrestling back to the beginning talking about Abraham Lincoln being a local wrestler and traveling from town to town taking on challengers. There was also a section of the museum dedicated to Frank Gotch. I wont go anymore off topic but Frank was an original American Catch as Catch Can Wrestling champion. His biggest opponent was George “The Russian Lion” Hackenschmidt

Now old George was a true specimen of his time and a former strongman. I bought a book about the two and their rivalry in the museums gift shop at the end of our trip. In it they listed off odd training that many soviet strongman use to put into practice. Such as Hackenschmidt Bench pressing rediculous amounts of weight while in a full neck bridge for reps. Hackenschmidt is also acredicted for the creation of the “Hack Squat” for thos Gym Rats who know the lift.

But one picture jumped out in me in the book. It wasn’t even a picture of a wrestler. The picture was of a true strongman applying unorthodox methods to his training. This epic Black and White would stay with me for years after turning to that page for the first time in my youth.

The timeless shot of Vasily pulling Iron from the river bed should be familiar to any that have followed Old Country from the beginning. This was our orignal header. In my mind Vasily was Old Country Strong. The combination of an Immovable Object and a Unstoppable force.

Vasily Alexeev was a true Icon of the Iron Game. It broke my heart to recently hear of the mans passing.

The former Soviet Union Super HeavyWeight passed away at the end of November at the age of 69 in a Heart Clinic in Badenhausen, Germany. Vasily won two gold medals and set an amazing 80 world records.

Of those records Vasily’s 1,149 Three lift Olympic Total still stands. Yes, since his time the Olympic Clean and Press has been eliminated from competition meaning the record will never be broke. But in my mind Vasily’s record would never be broke even if the full total was still in the Games. Because just like the picture I saw of in that book, somethings and some people are simply unforgettable.

The World has lost a Great Champion.

Posted by: Z

4 Responses to ““To the end….””

  1. When I was at my USA Weightlifting Certification back in May we talked a lot about Alexeev… how impressive he was all of his world records etc…. when i got back i spent quite some time researching all of his success anyways Z said it with “The world has lost a Great Champion”

    I found this when I was watching some of his lifts on youtube

    1. he ate a 36 egg omelette every morning for breakfast! 36 eggs in one sitting!!!!
    2. did anyone else notice the way he chopped wood? badass
    3. he was so great he was even poisoned! no one could come close to him so his own coach poisoned him to ruin his career!

  2. Dude Z! awesome post! im jelous that you met Dan Gable one of my coaches in HS talked about the Dan Gable set back all the time and tought us it. Didn’t know your background was wrestling!

    Roo-that might be the most badass way to split wood ive ever seen!

  3. Nothing builds a more solid work ethic then wrestling my friend. I can usually always spot the guys that wrestled when I Coach.

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