Nickname: “The Experiment”
One of the greatest Olympic athletes Russia has ever produced, the three-time gold medalist (1988, 1992, 1996) in Greco-Roman wrestling was, in a word, invincible. A 6’ 3”, 280-pound force of nature, Karelin employed a daunting arsenal — freakish strength, uncanny quickness and a deep understanding of both anatomy and psychology (he holds a doctorate in Physical Education) — while dominating his opponents mentally as well as physically. And the nickname? Consider: If a scientist, mad or otherwise, went into the lab to try and construct the perfect wrestler, Karelin might well be the result. For more than a decade, on a circular stage roughly 30 feet in diameter, The Experiment played out again and again in arenas around the world. Inevitably, Karelin was the one left standing.
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