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Yuri Vardanyan

Full name: Yuri Vardanyan
Original name: Յուրի Վարդանյան
Other name(s): Yuri Norayrovich Vardanyan, Юрий Норайрович Варданян
Gender: Male
Height: 5'7" (171 cm)
Weight: 181 lbs (82 kg)
Born: June 13, 1956 in Gyumri, Shirak, Armenia
Affiliations: Lokomotiv Gyumri, Gyumri (ARM)
Country: URS Soviet Union
Sport: Weightlifting

Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)

Biography

Although he won only one Olympic medal, gold in 1980, Yuri Vardanyan was the most dominant weightlifter in the world in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Vardanyan took up weightlifting in 1970 under his uncle Sergey Vardanyan. After winning middleweight gold at the 1975 and 1976 World and European Junior Championships, Vardanyan won his first senior World title in 1977 in thw middleweight class. Moving up to light-heavyweight, he won six more World titles in 1978-81, 1983 and 1985. Vardanyan won the light-heavyweight gold at the 1980 Olympics, with a total of 400.0 kg, which would have been sufficient to win gold at two higher classes and a bronze in heavyweight class at the same Olympics. Vardanyan would almost certainly have won another gold medal in 1984 were it not for the Soviet boycott. In 1982 he won silver in the middle-heavyweight class at the World Championships. Vardanyan also won one European middleweight title in 1977, four light-heavyweight titles in 1978, 1980-81 and 1983 and middle-heavyweight silver in 1982 and light-heavyweight silver in 1984. Domestically, Vardanyan won four Soviet titles: 1977 in middleweight, 1979 in light-heavyweight, and 1981 and 1982 in middle-heavyweight. He also won the Soviet middleweight cup in 1976. During his career Vardanyan set 42 world records, five as a middleweight (three in snatch, one in clean & jerk and one in total), 29 as a light-heavyweight (nine in snatch, 11 in clean & jerk and nine in total), and eight as a middle-heavyweight (three in snatch, three in clean & jerk and two in total). His final light-heavyweight total world record of 405.0 kg set in 1984 stayed unbeaten until the IWF reconstructed the weight classes in 1992. Even after the reconstruction, when 2½ kg heavier athletes were allowed to compete as light-heavys, his record has not been surpassed.

In 1985 Vardanyan was elected to the Armenian SSR Supreme Soviet (parliament, and decided to retire from weightlifting to concentrate on politics. In 1991, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Vardanyan emigrated to the United States, settling in Los Angeles. In America Vardanyan has worked as a weightlifting coach, coaching his son Norik, who won the US title as a middle-heavyweight in 2008. In 1994 Vardanyan was elected to the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1980 Summer 24 Moskva Weightlifting Men's Light-Heavyweight Soviet Union URS 1 Gold WR

Men's Light-Heavyweight

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank K S/F
1980 Summer 24 Moskva Weightlifting Soviet Union URS Final Standings 1 400.0
1980 Summer 24 Moskva Weightlifting Soviet Union URS Snatch 1 177.5
1980 Summer 24 Moskva Weightlifting Soviet Union URS Snatch Lift #1 AC 165.0 o
1980 Summer 24 Moskva Weightlifting Soviet Union URS Snatch Lift #2 AC 172.5 o
1980 Summer 24 Moskva Weightlifting Soviet Union URS Snatch Lift #3 AC 177.5 o
1980 Summer 24 Moskva Weightlifting Soviet Union URS Clean & Jerk 1 222.5
1980 Summer 24 Moskva Weightlifting Soviet Union URS Clean & Jerk Lift #1 AC 205.0 o
1980 Summer 24 Moskva Weightlifting Soviet Union URS Clean & Jerk Lift #2 AC 215.0 o
1980 Summer 24 Moskva Weightlifting Soviet Union URS Clean & Jerk Lift #3 AC 222.5 o