There is often a stereotype among meat-eaters that a man must eat meat to keep himself in good physical shape. This misconception is especially true for bodybuilders, weightlifters and other professional athletes. However, there are a large number of professional athletes in the world who follow a vegetarian and even vegan diet. Among our compatriots is one of the strongest people in the world, Ivan Poddubny. Ivan Maksimovich Poddubny was born in 1871 into a family of Zaporozhye Cossacks.
Their family was famous for strong men, but Ivan’s capabilities were truly outstanding. He was called “Champion of Champions”, “Russian Bogatyr”, “Iron Ivan”. Having started his sports career in the circus, Poddubny became a professional wrestler and defeated the strongest European and American athletes. Although Ivan lost individual fights, he has not a single defeat in tournaments. More than once the Russian hero became the winner of the world championships in classical wrestling.
Ivan Poddubny is the first six-time world champion in Greco-Roman wrestling. He is also an Honored Artist of the RSFSR and Honored Master of Sports of the USSR. Ivan was awarded the “Order of the Legion of Honor” and the “Order of the Red Banner of Labor.” And nowadays there are many strong men with big hands who eat by nature. One such person is a raw food bodybuilder. It’s hard to believe, but the hero, who, with a height of 184 cm, weighed 120 kilograms, adhered to a vegetarian diet. Ivan loved simple, hearty Russian cuisine.
The basis of the diet consisted of cereals, bread, and fruits with vegetables. Poddubny preferred cabbage pie to any overseas delicacy. They say that once, having gone on a tour to America, Ivan missed his native Russian radish so much that he wrote a letter to his sister asking her to send him this vegetable. Perhaps this was the secret of his unprecedented strength: when the hero was already over 50, he easily defeated 20-30-year-old wrestlers.
Unfortunately, war and famine broke the Russian hero. During and after the war, Ivan lived in the city of Yeysk. The standard meager ratio that was given to everyone was not enough to saturate Poddubny’s powerful body with energy.
Sugar ration for a month he ate in one day, bread was also sorely lacking. Plus, the years have taken their toll. Once, when Ivan was already over 70, he fell on his way home. A hip fracture is a serious injury to the body of advanced age. After that, Poddubny was no longer able to fully move. As a result, in 1949, Ivan Maksimovich Poddubny died, but the fame of him is still alive. On his grave the inscription is carved: “Here the Russian hero lies.”