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Lifting the Iron Curtain: Paul Anderson and the Cld War’s First Sport Exchange – Iron Game History – March, 2013

On 15 June 1955, Paul Anderson, the 340-pound American heavyweight, lay on a couch waiting for his first attempt at a weightlifting competition in Moscow between the Soviet Union and the United States.’ The event, held at the large, outdoor Zelyony Theater in Gorky Park, was the first of two contests being held as part of a goodwill trip authorized by the U.S. State Department.2 During the contest, lifter after lifter warmed up backstage, pacing nervously between sets as they awaited their turn on the enormous stage festooned with Soviet and American flags.