Posted on Wednesday, October 4th, 2017 by John Wood
Nikolay Saksonov, looking every bit the Russian weightlifter, was a featherweight lifter who won a Silver medal at the 1952 Helsinki Olympic games, a Gold Medal at the 1953 World Championships held in Stockholm, and set seven official World Records over his storied career.
Like many great Russian athletes, Saksonov was also a soldier and fought in WWII and other operations. During this time, for his efforts, he was awarded the Order of the Red Star, the Order of the Patriotic War and the Medal of Bravery. This did not come without a heavy price: he also sustained shrapnel injuries to both his forearms which caused nerve damage and eventually greatly affected his ability to grip the bar. Saksonov became a champion by working extra hard to overcome this deficiency. It has been speculated that his marks might have been 10-20 kg higher had he not suffered these injuries. The image above is most likely his winning Clean & Jerk at the 1954 USSR Championships.