Rudolf Plyukfelder

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameRudolf Vladimirovich•Plyukfelder (-Pflugfelder)
Used nameRudolf•Plyukfelder
Original nameРудольф Владимирович•Плюкфельдер
Born6 September 1928 in Novoorlovka, Donetsk (UKR)
Measurements172 cm / 83 kg
AffiliationsTrud Shakhty Rostov
NOC Soviet Union
Nationality Russian Federation


Born in Ukraine to a German family, Rudolf Plyukfelder’s family was sent to a Siberian prison camp at the start of the World War II, where his father and older brother were executed. When Plyukfelder was 14-years-old he started to work in the coal mines near Kiselyovsk (a Siberian mining town) and worked in the mines until 1962. In his spare time Plykfelder took up sports, first track & field athletics and wrestling, winning the regional championships in wrestling in 1948-49.

In 1950 Plyukfelder took up weightlifting and soon rose to be one of the top Soviet light-heavyweight lifters, despite training without a coach as there were none in his region, until he moved to Shakhty, Rostov in 1962. At the end of the 1950s Plyukfelder became the world’s best light-heavyweight lifter and was virtually unbeatable. He won Olympic gold in 1964, was World Champion in 1959, 1961, 1964, took silver at the 1963 World Championships and was European Champion in 1959-61, taking silver at the 1963 Europeans. Domestically, Plyukfelder was the Soviet light-heavyweight champion from 1958-63, taking silver in 1957 and bronze in 1956. He set 13 light-heavyweight world records between 1958 and 1961: one in the press, seven in the snatch, and five in the total.

After finishing his sporting career following the 1964 Olympics, Plyukfelder worked as a weightlifting coach in Shakhty, Rostov, which became one of the main Soviet centers of weightlifting under his guidance. His pupils were 1964 Olympic bantamweight champion Aleksey Vakhonin, 1972 and 1976 Olympic super-heavyweight champion Vasily Alekseyev, 1976 Olympic middle-heavyweight champion David Rigert, 1976 Olympic featherweight champion Nikolay Kolesnikov, 1976 Olympic flyweight champion Aleksandr Voronin, 1992 Olympic sub-heavyweight champion Viktor Tregubov, and numerous other Soviet top weightlifters of 1970s and 1980s. In early 1990s Plyukfelder emigrated to Germany with his family, settling in Kassel.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal Nationality As
1964 Summer Olympics Weightlifting URS RUS Rudolf Plyukfelder
Light-Heavyweight, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold