Photo: Lars Nyberg / Alamy

Aleksandr Karelin

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One of if not the most popular wrestler in the history of this spot. Karelin was a 12x World and Olympic Champion for the Soviet Union and Russian team and compiled a career record of 887 wins and only 2 career losses.

He was known for his patented reverse body lift which he used to dominate the super heavyweight weight class for over a decade. His only losses came at the 1987 USSR Championships to Igor Rostorotsky 1-0 and in the 2000 Olympic Gold medal match to American Rulon Gardner 1-0.

Karelin is very accomplished outside of the sport and has a PhD in how to defend a suplex. He also has had a very successful career in politics.



1989 World Champion (130kg)

1990 World Champion (130kg)

1991 World Champion (130kg)

1993 World Champion (130kg)

1994 World Champion (130kg)

1995 World Champion (130kg)

1997 World Champion (130kg)

1998 World Champion (130kg)

1999 World Champion (130kg)


1988 Olympic Champion (130kg)

1992 Olympic Champion (130kg)

1996 Olympic Champion (130kg)

2000 Olympic Silver Medalist (130kg)

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Akil Murugan
Akil Murugan
Senior Editor for Heavyweight Nation
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