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George Hackenschmidt’s Forgotten Legacy as a Strength Training Pioneer – Iron Game History – August, 2013

Born in Dorpat, Estonia on 2 August 1878, George (originally Georg, sometimes spelled Georges) Karl Julius Hackenschmidt was one of the most admired and successful Greco-Roman and Catch-as-Catch-Can wrestlers at the beginning of the twentieth century. Gifted with extraordinary physical capabilities that seemed to far exceed those of the average man, he rose to stardom in the early 1900s through a captivating mixture of overwhelming ring presence, explosive power, sheer strength, and admirable humility. However, the “Russian Lion” was decidedly more than one of the greatest wrestlers who ever set foot on a mat. From his earliest days as a professional, Hackenschmidt displayed an indefatigable desire to inspire others to follow him on his quest to physical strength, health, and long life. Throughout his ring career and in the years that followed, he used his popularity and public celebrity to advocate strength training, exercise, and proper diet as means to attain health and well being.