Kojomkul Memorial in Kojomkul, Kyrgyzstan

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Kojomkul Memorial.

Kojomkul was a 7-and-a-half-foot tall Kyrgyz giant that weighed over 350 pounds and was reportedly able to lift and carry a full-grown horse. Born in 1889 in a small village called Suusamyr, he became a sensation of his time by winning each and every wrestling and strength competition along the Silk Road.

Kojomkul’s fame actually went beyond the borders of Kyrgyzstan, when, as part of the Russian Empire Team, he participated in the Beijing Olympics, winning a silver and bronze medal in Greco-Roman wrestling. In another demonstration of his incredible strength, he reputedly once lifted a 1,500-pound boulder. 

Feats of strength aside, Kojomkul’s many good deeds earned him a "gentle giant" reputation. He gained widespread respect for donating sheep and horses won in competitions to villagers in need, which would explain why after his death in 1955, the village was eventually named after him. A small museum in town houses a collection of Kojomkul’s belongings and some pictures of him lifting heavy weights. 

At the outskirts of Kojomkul village is an unusual monument dedicated to the memory of Kojomkul the hero. It consists of a mud building in the shape of a yurt covered by a rickety wooden shelter. Sightings of these wooden shelters are not uncommon, but they are usually no bigger than an average umbrella and are fixed in tombstones, whereas the one in Kojomkul is much larger, and it encompasses the whole mud-yurt. Along one of the poles radiating from the sustaining pillar, people have tied several cloths as a tribute to Kojomkul’s superhuman strength.