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03 Sep 1972
Munich 1972

Immoveable Taylor stands firm to win wrestling bronze


We often talk about big stars in sport, but very few of them live up to the billing in the way that Chris Taylor did. He was big in size rather than fame.

Taylor, a wrestler who competed, not surprisingly, in the super-heavyweight category, weighted in at a hefty 186.88kg, and posed some very difficult questions for his opponents. Few – perhaps none – of them had ever come across such a big block to their ambitions.

His first-round contest brought him to the attention of the world. Taylor came up against Alex Medved, twice the Olympic champion and himself a large man. Compared to Taylor, though, he was tiny – not much more than half his rival's weight. Medved was the more technically skilled wrestler, but he simply couldn't move Taylor. They fought to a standstill, with Medved trying his best, but coming up against what seemed like an immovable object.

The contest was eventually decided by a controversial decision made by the Turkish referee to penalise Taylor for not fighting enough. He was deducted a point for passivity, and victory went to Medved.

But those who considered Taylor to be something of a joke act could not have been more wrong. He remained unbeaten in his other contests and went home with the bronze medal. Medved, having conquered his toughest opponent, won gold.

Taylor remained the heaviest Olympian for 36 years until, in 2008, the Judoka Ricardo Blas Jr took his record. Blas Jr. weighed in at 218kg at London 2012.

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