In 1988, Arnold Schwarzenegger in the literal sense of the word was a man who descended from the picture for Soviet people. The walls of the small gym "Athletics", where this photo was taken, were decorated with posters of the famous pitching and actor, too. However, during the youth of the movie hero in the Austrian training centers, there were absolutely other posters, the main character of which was the Soviet weightlifter Yuri Vlasov.

Ermine Fur for Kennedy

26 years ago in a miniature Soviet gym occurred a meeting with a star, and it's not about Arnold at all. Then Schwarzenegger's first visit to Russia took place for the filming of the "Red Heat" movie, where Arnie played a policeman named Ivan Danko.

- Filming in Moscow was semi-legal, - the author of the photo, photographer Vladimir Mashatin remembers, - the scenes on Red Square, despite the seemingly received permission, were shot in a fleeting, hand-held movie camera. And there were no many journalists at the shooting - about five.

First they gathered everyone at the Sovetskaya Hotel, where a very strange press conference was held. Firstly, Schwarzenegger has not sat down all the time - he was offered a too small chair, and secondly, mostly he asked questions to the journalists, and not vice versa. Schwartz was very much concerned about buying a coat from an ermine fur. When his wife Maria Shriver of the Kennedy family, found out that Arnold was going to Russia, had ordered him the coat. Thus, Schwarzenegger learned about the existence and location of the famous store "Berezka", in which there was a system of trading for currency and checks.

After that, Arnie said that he intends to meet today with soviet famous weightlifter Yuri Vlasov. The filmmakers who accompanied him were shocked - they needed no weightlifter Vlasov, besides, no one imagined where to look for the Soviet champion, who at that time was already over 50. But Schwarzenegger insisted - later it turned out that he even exchanged tickets on a return flight, for not to return to the US without Vlasov's handshake. In addition, to everyone's surprise, Schwarzenegger said that this will not be their first meeting, since he have known Yuri Petrovich for many years. It turned out that once upon a time at the World Weightlifting Championships in Vienna Vlasov helped to 14-year-old Arnie.

The Lanky Austrian Boy

- In September 1961, when I was at the World Weightlifting Championships in Vienna, an Austrian friend brought me a lean, lanky boy, - Yury Petrovich Vlasov remembered. - As the translator said, I was asked to wish him success in sports and "pumped" morally.

It turned out that once upon a time at the World Weightlifting Championships in Vienna Vlasov helped to 14-year-old Arnie.

I did so, saying that he will succeed, you just have to persevere in training. I was then 25 years old - I was young and enthusiastically telling the boy about his love for strength, about the fact that training makes men triumphant. Similar words I often had to say to young people.

When we met at the beginning of the winter of 1988 in Moscow, Arnold looked superb for his forty. Unlike many athletes, he was not fattened, but tightened like a string. And very attentive. I have seen many athletes, often these are arrogant, inflated persons, who not just to talk, but also doesn't want to greet, but with him were both character and physical strength.

Then Arnold said: "You have somehow turned my life, and I owe you a lot ..."

It turned out that when he was young he had been practicing for a few years with "iron" without results - there were no results with the barbell as well. To someone it would had enough to give up the sports in general, especially if Arnold was, to put it mildly, a poor man at the time. However, he idolized strength, rivalry, the agony of training and, remembering my advice, decided not to give up sports and go to bodybuilding, where he eventually became famous.

Ball in A Sleeve

"Most likely Vlasov safely forgot that episode at the championship," Mashatin continues. - When we stood and waited for Schwarzenegger, he thought that the actor was going to just pay respect to the deserved athlete. Yuri Petrovich was already somewhat closed then, and seeing a small throng that was formed for anticipation of the Hollywood movie hero, moved upstairs to the second floor, from the windows of which the entrance was clearly visible. I was there too, but I tried not to jerk him very early. Sometimes, if you ask something - the main survey can be failed. He then said that he himself does not believe in the fact that Schwarzenegger will come into the rough basement of the gym, especially since the training of girls-gymnasts has already begun downstairs.

Then suddenly somehow Schwarzenegger appeared. Everything happened very quickly - they talked about something through an interpreter, showed several exercises to the girls. I was more concerned with pushing those who also wanted to make pictures of them.

I remember how everyone gasped when Schwarzenegger took off his leather jacket, and there... I had never seen such muscles before - just a ball rolled out of his sleeve.

Two champions depicted the arm wrestling match, but, of course, there was no fight - Vlasov and Schwarzenegger just played the camera.

Despite the fact that it was a little fussy, everyone was happy. Especially girls, plenty photographed with a star. For Schwarzenegger himself, of course, the real star was Vlasov. And it was from that year when a portrait photo of Arnold with the inscription: "To my Idol Yuri Vlasov best wishes, Arnold Schwarzenegger." is kept in the personal archive of Yuri Petrovich.

Dossier of Yuri Petrovich Vlasov

  • Born in 1935
  • Olympic champion (1960).
  • 4-time world champion (1959, 1961-1963).
  • 6-time champion of Europe (1959-1964).
  • He set 31 world records.
  • From the mid-1980s to 1996 he was a politician.
  • In 1996, he ran for the presidency of the Russian Federation.
  • Currently he leads a closed way of life and is engaged in literary activity.