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Ivan Sergeyevich Yarygin (7 November 1948 – 11 October 1997) was a Soviet and Russian heavyweight freestyle wrestler. Between 1970 and 1980 he won all his international competitions, except for the 1970 and 1974 European championships where he placed second. Yarygin was an Olympic champion in 1972 and 1976, a world champion in 1973 and a European champion in 1972 and 1975–76, and won a world cup in 1973, 1976–77 and 1979–80.[1] After retiring in 1980, he headed the Soviet freestyle wrestling team from 1982 to 1992 and the Russian Wrestling Federation from 1993 until his untimely death in a car crash in 1997.[3]

Ivan Yarygin
Ivan Yarygin.jpg
Ivan Yarygin in 1976
Personal information
Native nameИван Сергеевич Ярыгин
Full nameIvan Sergeyevich Yarygin
Born(1948-11-07)7 November 1948
Ust-Kamzas, Kemerovo Oblast, Soviet Union
Died11 October 1997(1997-10-11) (aged 48)
Neftekumsk, Stavropol Krai, Russia
Height190 cm (6 ft 3 in)
Weight100 kg (220 lb)
SportFreestyle wrestling
Mindiashvili wrestling academy Trud Krasnoyarsk
Coached byDmitry Mindiashvili[1][2]
Updated on 26 September 2015.



Yarygin was born as the sixth child in a family of ten siblings. Most members of his family were heavily built and physically active people. Since early age Yarygin helped his father at his blacksmith workshop.[2] As a teenager he wanted to become a football goalkeeper, and took up wrestling only in 1966, aged 18. In 1970 he won the Soviet title, beating his main rival Vladimir Gulyutkin; he lost to Gulyutkin in 1971, but beat him again at the 1972 Olympic Trials and was selected for the Munich Olympics. At the Olympics he won all five bouts by fall, spending on the mat a little more than 7 minutes instead of 45.[3] His next Olympic victory in 1976 was less spectacular because he wrestled the whole tournament with two broken ribs. After that Yarygin was selected as the Soviet Olympic flag bearer at the closing ceremony.[4]

While preparing for the Moscow Olympics Yarygin realized that the young Ukrainian wrestler Ilya Mate has a better chance for the gold medal (which he indeed won). Yarygin retired in 1980 and became a wrestling coach. In 1982–92, he trained the Soviet freestyle wrestling team, and in 1993–1997 headed the Russian Wrestling Federation.[3] He was a key organizer of the 1997 World Wrestling Championships in Krasnoyarsk.[4]

Death and legacyEdit

The Russian Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bomber named after Yarygin

Yarygin was killed in a car crash in 1997.[4] Earlier in 1990, an annual wrestling tournament in his honor has been initiated in Krasnoyarsk, the city where he lived since 1966; in 1998 a sports venue in Krasnoyarsk has been renamed into the Ivan Yarygin Sports Palace, and in March 2002 his monument was opened in the city. His other monuments were installed in Moscow in 1998, in Stavropol Krai (near the place of his death) in 2012, and in Abakan in 2013.[5] A secondary school[6] and a wrestling complex in Moscow are named after Yarygin. In 2010 Yarygin was inducted into the FILA International Wrestling Hall of Fame.[3]


  • Yarygin I. S. (1989) Ты выходишь на ковер. Moscow. ISBN 5-900845-02-8
  • Yarygin I. S. (1995) Суровые мужские игры. Krasnoyarsk. ISBN 5-7479-0642-9


  1. ^ a b Yarygin, Ivan (URS).
  2. ^ a b Сизую я считаю своей малой родиной. Yarygin Museum
  3. ^ a b c d "Ivan Yarygin". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Иван Ярыгин. Yarygin Wrestling Museum
  5. ^ Памятник Ивану Ярыгину в Абакане. Yarygin Museum
  6. ^ МБОУ Московская средняя школа им. Ивана Ярыгина. Yarygin Museum