Temirbolat Kanukov (Kanikuaty Bola)
(Nickname – “Mount Kazbek”)
Legendary circus wrestler–giant of the beginning of 20th century.
Bola Kanukov was born in Koban, North Ossetia. Starting from early childhood he got used to hard, physical work. Later on in life his extraordinary power and giant physique caught the attention of circus officials. He was invited to work in the circus as a professional wrestler. Being a shy and kind person, but unbelievable physically strong Bola defeated the eminent wrestlers many times. And the audience always was delighted when watching him. Even between heavy weight wrestlers, Bola Kanukov looked like a real giant.
He was 228 cm. (7’ 6”) tall and weighed about 224 kg. (493 pounds). The circus nickname “Mount Kazbek” (Kazbek – the highest mountain in Europe, which is clearly visible from Vladikavkaz) was substantially assigned to him. Remaining an old fashioned man, obeying the Ossetian traditions and norms he never came to the mats undressed.
He accustomed Alibek Kantemirov, who later on became a founder of the Soviet equestrian circus.
After several years of performing in many cities and regions, but not getting any richer, Bola Kanukov returned to his mountain village Koban.
He had a family but not too big. Just him, his wife and their daughter. During his circus years, Bola adopted a 2 year-old Russian boy, Vasiliy.
In 1922 Bola working for the farmers in Georgievsk, got caught on the field in the middle of a thunderstorm. But instead of looking for a shelter he lifted up a stack of hey and lay down under it. Soon he fell asleep, and when he woke up he could not get up any more. He died three weeks later.
His daughter died in 1934. His adopted son Vasiliy fought Nazis during the WW2 and heroically died in one of the bloody battles in 1942.
Temirbolar Kanukov and Estonian wrestler M.Tigane.
Temirbolat Kanukov with the best Russian wrestlers. Kiev, 1910.