At the age of 18, Roussimoff moved to Paris and was taught professional wrestling by a local promoter, Obert Lageat ,who recognized the earning potential of Roussimoff's size. He trained at night and worked as a mover during the day to pay living expenses. Roussimoff was billed as "Géant Ferré", a name based on the French folk hero Grand Ferré, and began wrestling in Paris and nearby areas. Canadian promoter and wrestler Frank Valois met Roussimoff in 1966, becoming his business manager and adviser. Roussimoff began making a name for himself wrestling in the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and Africa.
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