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Yevgeny Minayev

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 2
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameYevgeny Gavrilovich•Minayev
Used nameYevgeny•Minayev
Original nameЕвгений Гаврилович•Минаев
Born21 May 1933 in Klin, Moskva Oblast (RUS)
Died8 December 1993 in Klin, Moskva Oblast (RUS)
Measurements156 cm / 60 kg
AffiliationsVS Moskva, Moskva (RUS)
NOC Soviet Union
Nationality Russian Federation


Not much is known about Yevgeny Minayev outside the sports arena. Minayev took up weightlifting while serving in the Soviet Army. His strength was first discovered by his commander, a weightlifting enthusiast, who introduced Minayev to weightlifting technique and signed him up for his first competition, the 1956 Soviet Championship. At that meet, Minayev surprised everyone by breaking his first world record, 114 kgs in the press, but he finished in fourth position overall at those championships. Minayev quickly rose to become the top Soviet featherweight weightlifter and was selected for the 1956 Soviet Olympic team. At those Olympics, Minayev won silver behind American Ike Berger, but improved to gold four years later in Rome, beating Berger. Besides his Olympic success, Minayev won golds at the 1957 and 1962 World Championships, while earning silvers in 1958 and 1961, again behind Berger. Minayev was also European Champion in 1958, 1960 and 1962, winning a silver in 1961. Domestically, Minayev won the Soviet title seven times (1957-59, 1961, 1963, 1965-66). During his career, Minayev set 13 featherweight world records, nine in the press, one in the snatch, and three in the total.

Although Minayev was the top Soviet featherweight weightlifter for a decade, he missed a lot of international tournaments where he would have been the main favorite to the gold due to disagreements with Soviet sports officials. He refused to train under any coach and regularly missed the Soviet team’s training gatherings. In 1966 Minayev retired from sports, after he had not been sent to an international tournament in four years by Soviet sports officials, despite being nearly undefeated in Soviet Union. Minayev then worked as a weightlifting coach for a short while, but was not very successful. Minayev also started drinking and worked as a mechanic, before doing temporary farm jobs around his hometown Klin. In the last years of his life, Minayev was homeless, living on the streets of his hometown, Klin. He starved and froze to death on the streets in early December 1993, at 60-years-old.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal Nationality As
1956 Summer Olympics Weightlifting URS RUS Yevgeny Minayev
Featherweight, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
1960 Summer Olympics Weightlifting URS RUS Yevgeny Minayev
Featherweight, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold