Known by many names like “The Experiment”, “Alexander the Great” and “The Russian Bear”, Aleksandr Karelin was a prominent Greco-Roman wrestler for Russia and, before it dissolved, Soviet Union. He is famous for winning the gold medals in the super heavyweight category at the Seoul, Barcelona and Atlanta Olympics in 1988, 1992 and 1996 respectively and is widely considered to be an Olympic Legend.
Karelin managed go unbeaten in international competition between the years 1987 and 2000. The last six years in this unbeaten streak witnessed him winning all matches without giving away a single point to any of his opponents. His mammoth winning streak came to an end in the gold medal match at the Sydney Olympics in the year 2000, when American wrestler Rulon Gardner beat him because of a change in rules.
Considered by numerous people as the best Greco-Roman wrestler ever, Karelin was noted for his lethal move, which he called “Karelin Lift”. This move is a kind of reverse body lift in which the opponent is lifted into the air and is slammed on the mat in a violent manner, either face up or face down. If it is executed in the correct manner, the thrower is awarded five points which is the maximum number of points awarded in Greco-Roman wrestling for a single move. This technique was previously used by light weight wrestlers only, because to lift a heavy opponent required herculean strength. Karelin, however, used this move on opponents who weighed as much as 130 kilos.
There are many known facts about Karelin that continue to amaze his fans and followers. For instance, when Karelin was born, he weighed almost 15 pounds. He is an active politician in Russia for the United Russia party and holds a PhD in Physical Education. Karelin was also a part of the famous professional wrestling match organized by RINGS in 1999. He won the match against Akira Maeda, hence drawing a gate of almost $2.5 million. This match was extensively covered by the media and was mentioned in prominent dailies and weeklies like Sports Illustrated and The New York Times.