KARELINE Alexander (1969) Russia / Wresting
As well as an impressive physique, this Siberian also has a good head on his shoulders. In parallel with his career as a top-level wrestler, he studied english literature and rhetoric.Aged 21 at Seoul in 1988, he won his first gold medal in the super-heavyweight category. He kept the title in Barcelona, four years later. In Atlanta, Karelin became a living legend by equalling the record of countryman Medved. He won the 130kg class for the third time. His impressive physique and muscle mass again made the difference against flabby opponents.It was a victory that got him many invitations to become a professional wrestler in America. He declined. The businessman he had become had no money worries whatsoever. In 1999 he was elected a member of the Duma representing Siberia and became an advisor to President Putin.However, Karelin was to meet his match in Sydney. Although he was the favourite in the Olympic competition, he was surprised in the final by Gardner of the US. It was his first defeat in 12 years. Even so, he remains the greatest figure in his chosen discipline.