The great, revolutionary Edouard Carpentier died Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at his house in Montreal near the Cote-des-Neiges cemetery. He was 84.
He had a heart attack in 2000, and on Saturday he sensed a similar sensation and called 911. By the time the ambulance arrived at the house, he had died.
Carpentier had been in poor health for many years, battered from the acrobatic, high-flying style that he popularized in the wrestling business. In August, he was hospitalized and amputating a leg was discussed.
Edouard Ignacz Weiczorkiewicz was born outside Lyon, France on July 17, 1926, to his Russian father, an innkeeper, and his Polish mother. During the Second World War, he was captured by the Germans, and escaped to join the French Resistance.
After the war, Weiczorkiewicz participated in both the 1948 Olympic Games in London and in Helsinki in 1952 in gymnastics, though he never medalled. His talents were in the rings and the trampoline.
It was Lino Ventura who suggested that he try wrestling and learned the Greco-Roman style first.
In 1956, he came to Montreal from France, invited by Yvon Robert. His debut was April 18th at the Montreal Forum. Within months, as Edouard Carpentier -- named after a famous French boxer, Georges Carpentier, with who he claimed lineage with in storylines -- he would revolutionize Canadian wrestling with his acrobatic moves and his impressive physique, shooting to the top of the wrestling world.
Rest in peace monsieur Carpentier.