Trofim Lomakin, a miner’s son from a distant Siberian village, took up weightlifting when he was 18-years-old, while serving in the Soviet Army in the Far East. Although he was unbeatable in his region, he was not noticed by Soviet weightlifting officials until he moved to Leningrad (now St. Petersbug) in 1949. At his first Soviet championships tournament in 1952, Lomakin won his first Soviet title in the middle-heavyweight class and was selected to the first Soviet Olympic team. In Helsinki though, Lomakin competed one weight class lower, in light-heavyweight and won a gold medal. Lomakin stayed in the light-heavyweight class nearly his entire career, switching back to middle-heavyweight only near his retirement. In 1952, Lomakin also won the European title and repeated this achievement in 1954, 1956 and 1958, taking silver in 1953. Lomakin also won the 1957 and 1958 World titles, and took World Championships silvers in 1953 and 1954. He also won three Soviet light-heavyweight titles (1953, 1955, 1957) and one more middle-heavyweight title (1960), and added a silver at the 1960 Olympics in middle-heavyweight. Lomakin set 10 world records – two in the press, five in the clean and jerk, and three in the total. Five of his world records were lifted in the light-heavyweight class and five as a middle-heavyweight.
Lomakin’s career as a weightlifter and later life was severely hampered by alcoholism. Lomakin was not selected to the Soviet 1956 Olympic team because of his drunken and disrespectful behavior at the pre-Olympic Soviet weightlifter’s gathering in Toshkent. Soon after finishing his sporting career, Lomakin was also dishonorably discharged from the Soviet Army because of his drinking problems. After that, Lomakin was unable to keep any job and fell in with a bad element. At the end of the 1960s Lomakin was arrested while trying to smuggle gold out of the Soviet Union and was convicted to five years in prison. After three years Lomakin was released, but soon after his release, on the dawn of 13 July 1973, his lifeless body was found beneath the 20 metres high vertical wall of the Moscow Young Pioneers Stadium. The police found that Lomakin was heavily drunk when he fell, but it was never resolved whether he fell by himself or was “helped” by one of his numerous criminal associates.