Post #10

The Great Antonio

19th September 2003, lunch time | Comments (2)

Anton Barichievich

The Daily Telegraph always has interesting obituries:

Anton Barichievich, otherwise known as “the Great Antonio”, who has died aged 77, earned two entries in the Guinness Book of Records, first in 1952 when he pulled a 433-tonne train along the tracks for 19.8 metres, and secondly in 1960 when he pulled four buses loaded with passengers along St Catherine Street, Montreal.

Barichievich weighed more than 30 stones and stood 6 ft 4 ins tall. His shoes were size 28. His furniture had to be custom built and included the world’s largest rocking chair — four metres high and two wide. He was, as his Montreal landlady once told an interviewer, a nice boy. But so big. Every time he sits on the toilet, bang — toilet breaks. My son fixes and fixes, but always the same. Toilet breaks again.

Barichievich boasted that he could eat 25 chickens or 10 steaks at one sitting; wrestle 18 men at once; juggle six people on his shoulders; and single-handedly pull buses, trains and jet planes full of passesgers.

At least some of this was true. Montreal bus drivers would dread the uninvited attentions of the Great Antonio, who would, when the fancy took him, hijack a bus, hook a chain round its bumper and pull the vehicle for several hundred yards.

In 1971 he almost became the North American heavywight wrestling champion, but the title bout ended in a public riot. Opponents also objected to Barichievich’s habit of preparing for each fight by eating handfuls of raw garlic.

In an interview in the 1980s he claimed to have weighed 12 kilo (26lbs) at birth, though as he admitted, I do not remember much. I bet your mother remembers, responded the interviewer.

He claimed to have been sent out with a pick and shovel at the age of six, and to have been able to uproot trees with a cable around his neck and run for 24 hours without topping by the age of 12. He also claimed to have trained by running head-on into trees from a distance of 60 metres.

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  1. Antoine:

    I used to walk over him realy often when I was living in the north of the city (Montréal, Canada). He was selling postcards of his past exploit, and the bus drivers were never asking him any money for a ride.

    Believe me, he was huge! The most impressive about the man, was his impressive tolerance against cold temperature in the winter, and his very long hairs.

    Posted 3 months, 2 weeks after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Dunstan
  2. Dunstan:

    Ah! Thanks for that Antoine, it's really nice to get a personal account of the story :o)

    Posted 3 months, 2 weeks after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Antoine

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