The Great AntonioAnton Barichievich, known as The Great Antonio (October 10, 1925 - September 7, 2003) was a Canadian strongman and eccentric.
He was apparently born in Zagreb of a Siberian immigrant family, and later in life claimed to be of Italian origin. He claimed to have gone to work with pick and shovel at age 6 and to have been able to uproot trees with a cable around his neck by age 12.
In 1945, he immigrated to Canada and took up a career as a strongman. He first made it into the Guinness Book of World Records in 1952 by pulling a 433-tonne train 19.8 metres. He would later make it into Guinness by pulling four city buses loaded with passengers. He could also wrestle 18 men at once and juggle 6 people on his shoulders.
He weighed 465 pounds (211 kg) and stood about 6 foot 4 inches (1,93 m). His suits were size 90, and his shoes size 28. His landlady accused him of shattering toilets, and he claimed to own the world's biggest rocking chair (2 metres by 4 metres). He could eat 25 chickens or 10 steaks at one sitting.
During the 1970s he toured the world as a strongman and performer, appearing in world capitals and on popular TV shows. He almost became North American heavyweight wrestling champion in Calgary in 1971, but his unpopularity and appearance resulted in a riot. He also appeared in several movies, including Quest for Fire (1981).
He had several unrealized plans, including a fight film with Don King (Antonio asked for a million dollars), a double bill with Tiny Tim (he had a very soft, gentle singing voice), and feats of strength such as lifting the cross on Mount Royal and pulling a Boeing 747.
As he grew older, he became a noted eccentric figure in his home town of Montreal. He braided his awe-inspiring dreadlocks with masking tape into a clublike rope several feet long, which he used to play "hair golf." He frequented doughnut shops in Rosemont, as well as Berri-UQAM metro station, where he sold postcards of himself and brochures outlining his life story. He kept every article and text ever published about him in a number of garbage bags.
The Great Antonio died at age 77 of a heart attack while grocery shopping in Montreal.