Legendary Soviet-era Armenian weightlifter Yurik Vardanian has died in the United States at the age of 62, Armenia's Sports Ministry said.
In a November 2 statement, Armenia's acting Sports Minister Gabriel Ghazarian said Vardanian died of a "long serious illness."
Vardanian, who competed in the men's light heavyweight 75-82.5-kilogram category, was a seven-time world champion, five-time European champion, 1980 Olympic champion, and broke 43 world records.
In 1994, he was inducted into the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Vardanian emigrated to the United States.
In 2009, he returned to Armenia, where he served as a presidential adviser.
In 2013-14, Vardanian was Armenia's sports minister and in 2014-17 he served as Armenia's ambassador to Georgia.