Unified TeamUnified Team
Olympic Medals
Games Participations3
First Olympic GamesSeoul 1988
Year of Birth1961


Belarussian Aleksandr Kurlovich continued the Soviet dominance in the unlimited class and claimed the title of world's strongest man by winning the super-heavyweight class at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Kurlovich took up weightlifting in 1973 and rose to the Soviet national team 10 years later. In that same year, Kurlovich first came to international prominence when he finished second at both the European and World Championships to his fellow Ukrainian Soviet, Anatoliy Pysarenko. In 1984, he and Pysarenko were considered as the main favorites for Olympic super-heavyweight gold, but they missed the Olympics due to the Soviet boycott. At the Friendship Games, which were held by the nations that boycotted the 1984 Olympics, Kurlovich lost to Pysarenko, who lifted a world record 465.0 kg, by 2.5 kg but Kurlovich still lifted 50 kg more than the 1984 Olympic champion Dean Lukin.

Later in 1984, both Pysarenko and Kurlovich were arrested at Mirabel Airport in Montréal when customs officials searched their luggage and found anabolic steroids. The two were convicted by Canadian authorities and fined. Soviet officials dismissed them from the national team and stripped them of their status as “Masters of Sport,” thus losing all the funding and benefits. Pysarenko, three years senior to Kurlovich, decided to quit weightlifting and later became a successful businessman and president of the Ukrainian Weightlifting Federation, but Kurlovich worked his way back to the Soviet national team. Despite no funding and no support from Soviet sports officials, Kurlovich made it back to the national team in 1987 and returned stronger than ever. Kurlovich won the 1987 World Championship with a world record and repeated this victory in 1989, 1991, and 1994. He was also European super-heavyweight champion in 1989 and 1990. Domestically, Kurlovich was the Soviet super-heavyweight champion in 1983, 1989 and 1991, while taking silver in 1984 and 1987. During his career Kurlovich set 12 super-heavyweight world records: six in the snatch, two in the clean & jerk, and four in the total. In 2006 Kurlovich was elected to the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame.

Olympic Results

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