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About actor

Khaladzhi Dmytro Vasylyovych — a featured actor of Ivan Syla.

Born on April 19, 1979, in the village of Komsomolske (Donetskiy region). A Ukrainian sportsman, a champion of Ukraine in power-lifting. The author of more than 20 power records, registered in the Ukrainian Book of Records, the Russian Book of Records, Guinness Book of World Records.

Dmytro at school
Dmytro at school

Dmytro was born on April 19, 1979, in the village of Komsomolske (Donetskiy region). A Ukrainian sportsman, a champion of Ukraine in power-lifting. The author of more than 20 power records, registered in the Ukrainian Book of Records, the Russian Book of Records, Guinness Book of World Records.

At the age of 4 he got burns because of an overturned tea-pot, having damaged 35% of the body. Dmytro withstood 7 surgeries and 12 blood transfusions. Since 10 he went in for wrestling, then judo, sambo, hand-to-hand fighting, arm-wrestling and kettlebell lifting.

At 15 he became a champion of Ukraine in hand-to-hand fighting. Later he got the title of a champion of Ukraine in folk-fighting, the title «The Strongest in Donbas», and at last he became a record-holder of Guinness Book of Records of Ukraine and Russia.

In 2011–2012 Dmytro Khaladzhi worked in the USA («Ringling Brothers» circus). He visited 41 states during his tours.

In summer 2012 he received a proposal to perform a leading role in the movie «Ivan Syla». For the sake of the film process he stopped his contract with the American circus.

He has his own circus program and makes tours in Ukraine and around the countries of the world. Actually he has no free time at all. «In the evening I’m only able to read a book and make some literary sketches — because I write about circus performers, strong men and bogatyrs of the past», — Dmytro says.

He took part in the cooking show «Senior Chef», having prepared borsch, which is one of his favourite dishes. However, as a rule Dmytro’s wife Inna is a matron in the kitchen. Together they bring up their daughter Nastya.


Dmytro Khaladzhi about himself and the movie «Ivan Syla»

  • I knew that I would be very strong before my school childhood. My grandmother taught me not with ABC-book, but with «Folk-tales». Up to now my idol is a fairy-tale-ish hero Illya Muromets. Probably, he defined my fate. When I was four, I burnt 35% of the body, and for some period of time I even fell behind in physically from my age-mates. But I was stronger spiritually. I wanted to be none the worse. And I did it.
  • With pleasure and enjoyment I featured in the movie «Ivan Syla» where I performed Ivan Firtsak’s role. The film narrates about the fate of a circus actor, one of the strongest men of the XX century — a generalized character of the majority of circus athletes is presented in the film, different episodes of Ivan Piddubnyi, Ivan Zaikin, Ivan Shemyakin, Ivan Firtsak’s lives are closely intermixed.
  • Just imagine, there are two Firtsak’s museums in Europe, but in our country, in Ukraine, nobody has heard about him!
  • This movie is with stunts and unique tricks, that’s why I had to work as in the circus: all power tricks there were filmed without any safety net and editing. It was alive. Many Ukrainian stunt players and sportsmen were involved into the shot — the world champions in power athleticism and power-lifting. Everything is natural in the movie! For example, in the circus four cars move through my body four times; but on the set of the film, until the needed studio-shot material — it was 15 times!
  • When I was a teenager, Shaposhnikov’s book «Russian strength, or Secrets of athleticism» fell into my hands one day. There were many of age-old systems of trainings in it. And I began to use them, adding and improving something. At that time I got to know about Ivan Firtsak, whose name undeservedly fell into oblivion for many years. Those systems were developed at the end of the XIX — beginning of the XX century. It was the time when strength sport — heavy athletics and fighting — was shoulder to shoulder with the circus, and the competitions with demonstration of physical vigor were held on its arena. The enormous types of sports went out from the circus: acrobatics, calisthenics, heavy athletics, free fight — all of them are darlings of the circus!
  • My trainings have a specific isometric form. For example, when you take a very thick chain and try to tear it. Such efforts which look as if they are unfruitful, give strength of the body in the result. More frequently the chain is being torn.
  • My family and I were offered (and this suggestion holds good) the American citizenship. But while being in the States I saw my Motherland in night dreams. Who hasn’t been for a long time abroad, won’t understand me. At home even the walls help.
  • The strength was grounded in me genetically. My great-grandfather was also a circus athlete. He performed a circus act «A fight with a bear» for Mykola II and his family in Petersburg. From grandmother’s recollections, the tsar enjoyed his acting and rewarded the performer with 100 rubles bank-note. The great-grandfather made a lot of money in the circus, later he came back into the village and started farming. But the revolution began, civil war, de-kulakization — and he was sent to the Siberia. Something similar happened in life with Ivan Firtsak.
  • I try to eat natural home products: eggs, fat, sour cream, cheese, milk, — each day I drink three-four litres of milk. It’s the best «drug» for me.

He broke records of Hellas and Britain’s legends

In his «battle form» Dmytro Khaladzhi, with 185 cm of his body height, weights 120 kg. Playing, with his branded smile of «a gentle terminator», he tears steel chains, bends horseshoes and rolls up scrap irons.

He succeeded to break on 10 kg a record of the legendary ancient strongman Bibon who lifted a stone (152 kg) with his little finger.

Another fantastic achievement belongs to Dmytro — «Devil’s Smithy» — when he was lying on the nails, three concrete blocks (700 kg) on his breasts had been broken by the sledge-hammers!

Having read, that three hundred years ago the British Tommy Tofiana managed to lift three barrels with water (upright one on other — 800 kg of full weight), nowadays Khaladzhi has already rewritten this achievement on his name — lifting a pipe (860 kg weight), and then 1022 kg: "Get, Britain, and sign it!».


After such unbelievable tricks, bending the armature twig (23-mm) with his teeth, driving in five nails with his palms through the sheet of metal (0,7 mm) into 4 cm board and others are perceived by the public as mischief for a strong man.

«I know for a long time about Ivan Firtsak, whose role I played in the movie. Many years ago I read the article about him in the magazine «The Soviet sport». Unfortunately, nowadays his name is undeservedly forgotten, and the modern generation knows just a bit about him or has even heard nothing. I liked to be in the films. My experience in performing in front of the large audience helped me a lot. Actually I had to play myself that is to play a circus athlete.

The main idea of the movie is spiritual and patriotic education of young people. In the history of our country there are so many examples for young generation, but for some reason we don’t notice them. More frequently we pay attention to stranger heroes. But we need to think about our national heritage».