He teamed with the Iron Shiek, worked with Freddie Blassie and wrestled legends like Bruno Sammartino and Hulk Hogan. Now he's ready to wrestle in a world that is almost as real. The world of politics.
When politics was focused on the Cold War with the Soviet Union, Nikolai Volkoff made a name for himself coming into the ring singing the Soviet national anthem before his matches. Not the best way to make friends in a foreign land. And the fans responded as you would expect with plenty of boos.
Volkoff, who is actually from Yugoslavia and not the former Soviet Union, left his native land at 19 and came to America. Of his former land he said "you can never say anything against the government, you say something against the government and the next day you're gone. American people don't know how good they have it here."
After becoming a citizen of the United States in 1970, he became a student of the American way of life and the governmental process. "I just want to give something back. I was a good wrestler and now I want to be a good politician." Volkoff's good friend, Jesse Ventura, former Governor of Minnesota, is a great inspiration to him.
Volkoff is running for a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates. He is primarily concerned with taxes and high cost of living. Volkoff said that he can remember when he could buy 20 cans of sardines for $2.00. "Now $5 will get you only six cans."
Most people won't care about the sardine issue but can relate to the ever increasing cost of living. The road is uphill for him because as a Republican running in a district when Democrats out number Republicans, he may have to sing a song that really resonates with voters. It'll be a different song than what he sang in the ring.