Andrei Chemerkin

Great profile story by Dave Stubbs of The Montreal Gazette, published on June 10, 2000.
Andrei Chemerkin was delighted with the story, saying it captured his true spirit
and the essence of his life. No higher praise for a writer than that.
Click here to read the story.

Andrei Chemerkin was borne on February 17, 1972. 

All the Russians have patronymics, and Andrei's patronymic is Ivanovich, i.e. his father's name is Ivan and Andrei's full name is Andrei Ivanovich Chemerkin.

Ivan Nikolaevich Chemerkin, Andrei's father, participated in "The Best Fathers" contest held in Stavropol on March 6-7, 1999. The main prizes were awarded to the fathers of the families that have at least three children. Ivan Chemerkin won the contest. The main reason of the jury's choice was that he is the father of the World Strongest Man. Another reason was that all the juniors in Chemerkins' family weighed more than 5 kilos (11 lbs) at birth. The weight of Dmitriy Chemerkin (1970), Andrei's older brother, was 5.4 kg (11.9 lbs), and his younger sister (1975) hit the scales at 6 kg (13.2 lbs). The weight of "little" Andrei was 5.7 kilograms (12.6 lbs).

Andrei's height is 182 cm (6 feet) and his shows more than 130 kg (287 lbs) in all his competitions' records. His present weight is around 180 kg (397 lbs) and he is the heaviest man who ever won Olympic Games. Andrei himself never minds his weight: "The heavier is the body, the easier to conquer the heavier weights".

Many specialists and spectators express their concern that Andrei's increasing weight might become a problem for him to improve his achievements, especially in snatch event. But we are sure that will not stop Andrei. There should be plenty of a good man. Could you imagine what such a lifter could achieve if he was good at both events? So far Andrei wins thanks to his incredible clean-and-jerks. Even in Russia Championships unknown athletes beat him in snatch event.

At present Andrei lives in the city of Solnechnodolsk, Stavropol Region, Russia, with his wife Olga, two sons, Ivan (1994) and Ignat (1996), and little daughter Kseniya (04/29/99). His older son was named after and in honor of Andrei's father, Ivan. According to Andrei's words, he will never change his native city for any abroad locations. He does not spend much time there though since he constantly participates in various competitions.

All his achievements at the World and European Championships and the Olympic Games made him the Captain of the Russian Weightlifting Team.

The Russian Cyril and Methodius Encyclopedia has a short record for Andrei saying that he is an Honored Master of Sports (1995), an Olympic Games Champion (1996) and a World Champion (1995).

This record has definitely to be updated since Andrei won the World Championships in 1997 in Chiang Mai (Thailand), in 1998 in Lahti (Finland) and in 1999 Athens (Greece). His present goal is to beat Leonid Taranenko's 266 kg record in . Besides, he is dreaming of following the steps of legendary Vasiliy Alexeev who set 80 world records and won 22 World Championships and 2 Olympic Games.

Andrei's international tournaments' standings may be found in the International Weightlifting Database.

On February 19, 1999, two days after his 27th birthday, Andrei got a Russian Police Captain rank.

For his victory in Atlanta Andrei received a nice cottage and two cars from the administration office of his native region. He gets various gifts and donations from his sponsors every time he wins a competition. Actually, at present Chemerkin is the only weightlifter of the Russian Weightlifting Federation who is being sponsored. This helps him to host training sessions for other Russian lifters in Solnechnodolsk.

In early 1997 Andrei received a "Medal for Courage" awarded to him by Boris Yeltsin, the Russian President, for his victory in Atlanta.

It looks as if Andrei is interested in politics too. In 1997 Chemerkin ran for a Parliament delegate chair in Petrovski District of Stavropol Region and was the second after the voting. The very day when the voting took place Andrei set a new world record in Thailand. 25.10% of the electors gave their votes to Chemerkin. It should not be his last try. Andrei is not planning to move from his native small city though he is getting many proposals from the USA, Greece, Germany, Turkey and other countries. Weightlifting gave him "...everything except for a two seat helicopter."

Andrei does not lack some sense of humor. He does not mind facing some difficulties caused by his weight and big frame. At the World Championship '98 in Lahti, Finland, he lived at a hotel with the shower booths that were too small for him. Andrei did manage to stay "fresh" washing himself "piece by piece".

On February 24, 1999 there was a fund established in Stavropol Region. The fund is called "Peace. Friendship. Sports" and also bears Andrei Chemerkin name. Its purpose is to promote weightlifting and Olympic movement in the region and to assist the youth sports schools.

Chemerkin did not participate in the European Weightlifting Championships '99 in La Coruna, Spain. The new coach of the Russian team explained that Andrei decided to improve his health and get ready for the World Championship in Athens, Greece. Andrei's decision was also caused by serious illness of his mother.

Andrei participated in a tournament that started on May 8, 1999 in Norway and won the second super heavyweight prize.

"Three Warriors" [Three Bogatyrs], new International tournament, was held in Moscow. On May 24, 1999 Andrei gained his first victory for the season of 1999. This is the first "unofficial" tournament with the first prize of USD 5,000. Vasiliy Alexeev said that during his days you could earn that much money only if you sold your Motherland.

On September 19, 1999 at the Russian Weightlifting Championship '99 in Taganrog Andrei Chemerkin set three records of Russia: 200 kg in snatch, 250.5 kg in clean and jerk, total of 450.5 kg. Olga, Andrei's wife, and Ivan, his elder son, were among the spectators.

For more information on Andrei Chemerkin, please visit our Links section. The links are for the pages related to Andrei only and not Weightlifting in general.

Click here to read about Andrei's perfomance at the Olympics '2000 in Sydney.

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