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Oleg Karavayev

Full name: Oleg Nikolayevich Karavayev
Original name: Олег Николаевич Караваев
Gender: Male
Height: 5'3" (161 cm)
Weight: 126 lbs (57 kg)
Born: May 20, 1936 in Minsk, Minsk, Belarus
Died: August 23, 1978 in Minsk, Minsk, Belarus
Affiliations: Burevestnik Minsk, Minsk (BLR)
Country: URS Soviet Union
Sport: Wrestling

Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)

Biography

Oleg Karavayev was the world’s best Greco-Roman bantamweight wrestler in the late 1950s and early 1960s, but his life and career was cut short due to heavy alcohol abuse. Although Karavayev took up wrestling only at the age of 16, he still is considered one of the most technically brilliant Greco-Roman wrestlers in Soviet and Russian wrestling. Between 1956 and 1962, Karavayev was nearly unbeatable, winning almost every match. Although Karavayev won his first Soviet title in 1956, he missed that year's Olympics, as the Soviet sports officials thought he was still too inexperienced and did not select him for the Soviet Olympic team. At the next three major international tournaments, however, the 1958 World Championships, the 1960 Olympics and the 1961 World Championships, Karavayev did not lose a match and won three major international titles in a row. Karavayev last competed internationally at the 1963 World Championships, where he lost unexpectedly to eventual gold medal winner [János Varga] from Hungary and drew with Ion Cernea, to settle for fourth place. Domestically, Karavayev won the Soviet title six times (1956-60 and 1962) and retired from sports in 1964, when he was not selected for the Soviet 1964 Olympic team. After finishing his sporting career, Karavayev worked as a wrestling coach, as the head coach of the Belorussian SSR wrestling team at the end of 1960s and as a wrestling coach with Burevestnik Minsk from 1971-78. During his sporting career, however, Karavayev already had troubles with alcohol, preferring partying to training, and his alcohol abuse worsened after his retirement. He died in 1978 due to alcohol related causes, at only 42-years-old. Since 1992, an annual memorial tournament in Greco-Roman wrestling has been held in Minsk in his honor.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1960 Summer 24 Roma Wrestling Men's Bantamweight, Greco-Roman Soviet Union URS 1 Gold

Men's Bantamweight, Greco-Roman

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result BP MR
1960 Summer 24 Roma Wrestling Soviet Union URS Final Round Match #1 1 1960-08-31 Karavayev (URS) decision, Cernea (ROU)
1960 Summer 24 Roma Wrestling Soviet Union URS Round Five 1 1960-08-31 2
1960 Summer 24 Roma Wrestling Soviet Union URS Round Five Match #2 1 1960-08-31 Karavayev (URS) fall (3:04), Ichiguchi (JPN) 0
1960 Summer 24 Roma Wrestling Soviet Union URS Round Four 1 1960-08-30 2
1960 Summer 24 Roma Wrestling Soviet Union URS Round Four Match #4 1 1960-08-30 Karavayev (URS) decision, Nakouzi (LIB) 1
1960 Summer 24 Roma Wrestling Soviet Union URS Round Three 1 1960-08-29 1
1960 Summer 24 Roma Wrestling Soviet Union URS Round Three Match #6 1 1960-08-29 Karavayev (URS) decision, Dora (YUG) 1
1960 Summer 24 Roma Wrestling Soviet Union URS Round Two 1 1960-08-27 0
1960 Summer 24 Roma Wrestling Soviet Union URS Round Two Match #9 1 1960-08-27 Karavayev (URS) fall (1:28), Verhoeven (BEL) 0
1960 Summer 24 Roma Wrestling Soviet Union URS Round One 1T 1960-08-26 0
1960 Summer 24 Roma Wrestling Soviet Union URS Round One Match #8 1 1960-08-26 Karavayev (URS) fall (8:02), Tveiten (NOR) 0