Buvaisar Saitiev: The Unparalleled Journey of a Wrestling Legend

Buvaisar Saitiev, a name that resonates with power, determination, and unparalleled skill in the world of wrestling. Born in 1975 in Khasavyurt Dagestan, Russia, Saitiev embarked on his wrestling journey at the tender age of six. His early years were marked by tragedy when his father passed away in a car accident, leaving his mother to raise four sons and a daughter alone. Despite the hardships, Saitiev’s passion for wrestling remained undeterred.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Saitiev’s wrestling career began under the guidance of Sultan Gashimov, Murad, and Isak Irbaikhanov at the sports school of the DSO “Urozhai”, and later at the FSO “Trade Unions” wrestling school. His first victory in a freestyle wrestling competition came in grade 3, marking the beginning of a long list of triumphs to come.

Career Achievements

Saitiev’s wrestling prowess led him to represent Russia on the world stage, earning him a staggering nine World-level gold medals. He is a six-time World champion and a three-time Olympic champion, with victories at the World championships in 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, and 2005, and at the Olympics in 1996, 2004, and 2008. His only two losses at the World or Olympic championships were in 1994 and 2000. His Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics marked his last wrestling competition and the final of his nine total World or Olympic level championships.

Wrestling Style

Saitiev’s wrestling style was unique and effective. Despite being long and lanky, which could be a disadvantage against shorter wrestlers, his high stance was a signature move that often left his opponents baffled. His ability to understand his body and use it to his advantage was a testament to his skill and experience.

Retirement and Post-Wrestling Career

After a 14-year international career, Saitiev announced his retirement from wrestling on May 26, 2009. However, his contributions to the sport didn’t end there. In 2016, he was elected Deputy of the state Duma, becoming a member of the committee for physical culture, sports, tourism, and youth affairs. He also serves as an advisor to the head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov and the head of the Republic of Dagestan Ramazan Abdulatipov.

Personal Life

A family man at heart, Saitiev is married with three sons and one daughter. His brother, Adam Saitiev, is also a renowned wrestler who won gold in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.


Buvaisar Saitiev’s legacy in the world of wrestling is unparalleled. His journey from a young boy in Russia to becoming one of the greatest freestyle wrestlers of all time is a testament to his dedication, skill, and passion for the sport. Even in retirement, he continues to contribute to the sport and his country, truly embodying the spirit of a champion.

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