Lot #6079
Leonid Zhabotinsky's (6) Berlin 1966 Winner's Medals from the World and European Weightlifting Championships

The 1966 victory medals of a Ukrainian weightlifting hero

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Estimate: $1000+


The 1966 victory medals of a Ukrainian weightlifting hero

Amazing lot of six winner’s medals presented to legendary Ukrainian weightlifter Leonid Zhabotinsky at the 1966 World Weightlifting Championships (3) and the 1966 European Weightlifting Championships (3), which were held concurrently in East Berlin, East Germany from October 15 to October 21, 1966.

The three medals for the World Championships include two gold medals for “Jerk” (125 gm) and “Press” (127 gm), and one bronze medal for “Snatch” (125 gm). The three medals for the European Championships include a gold medal for “Jerk” (124 gm), a silver for “Snatch” (123 gm), and a bronze medal (128 gm), the latter of which was presented to Zhabotinsky as the All-Around Men’s Champion for placing in all three events; all but the bronze medal are engraved on the reverse with the event. Each medal measures 51 mm x 89 mm and features the embossed image of a weightlifter triumphantly pressing a barbell over his head, with each bearing raised text to the left and upper sections: “Weightlifting, World Championships” or “European Championships, Weightlifting.” Each medal is accompanied by its handsome original presentation case, with a latch to one gold medal case no longer working, and the others bearing some light scuffing.

In a sport that features the world’s biggest stars, weightlifter Leonid Zhabotinsky was larger than life. As a representative of the Soviet Union in the heavyweight division, Zhabotinsky proved himself year after year as one of Earth’s mightiest men, routinely placing—and oftentimes winning—in whatever competition he entered. To cement his status as a truly historical strongman, Zhabotinsky won back-to-back Olympic gold medals (Tokyo 1964 and Mexico City 1968) in the men’s +90 kg division. So inspiring was the Soviet to budding weightlifters and bodybuilders the world over, that as a young Austrian teenager Arnold Schwarzenegger kept a photograph of Zhabotinsky taped over his bed.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Olympic Memorabilia
  • Dates: #628 - Ended January 20, 2022