Alexey Shumakov: “There are no former Olympic champions”

When was Alexei Shumakov lucky to receive an award from the hands of a real king? How did fighting become a lifelong affair? Who is Zabava Putyatichna?

Krasnoyarsk September 15-16 will host the XXIX All-Russian tournament for the prizes of the Olympic champion Alexei Shumakov. In 1976 in Montreal, he became the first Krasnoyarsk Olympic champion in Greco-Roman wrestling. On the eve of the traditional tournament, we decided to meet with the glorious wrestler and ask about significant events in his life. Behind each letter of the alphabet is a word filled with deep meaning, memories, experiences.


A special place. We went on an excursion to the places where the Olympic Games were held in antiquity – it’s interesting. Strong, special energy there.


We played basketball in training. At first, the game was not very challenging for me. The main thing is to develop a strategy and then your bet will win. I learned more about betting strategies from the Parimatch blog, for example, here is a good article But after a few classes I pulled myself up and started playing properly. Only threw three-pointers like that!


It was not for nothing that it was also called classic. The foundations are laid in our kind of struggle. And whoever tried to go free – it worked. But on the contrary – from freestyle to Greco-Roman – not always. Before the fight I was engaged in gymnastics. But one day it was necessary to speak for the university. At the Polytechnic I was the only one of a suitable weight. They quickly showed me a few tricks and went to compete. Then I started to train seriously. At first he continued to go to gymnastics, and in the evening – to wrestle. As a result, he stayed in the fight.


This quality means a lot. For example, when you have food in front of you, but you cannot eat, you lose weight. I competed in the lightest weight – up to 48 kg, got a foothold in this category and did not want to move to another.


I have it in a good place, on Owinka. I’ve been living there for five years. In the summer we get together: daughters Natalya and Katya, Leshka’s grandson, come. Now the studies have begun, the grandson went to the fifth grade. I do not plan to give it to wrestling, I play football. I brought him a uniform from London. In addition to football, he studies at a music school, learns to play the trumpet and bass guitar.


I would not break a stone, I am happy with my life. Everything was: both difficulties and joy. If only if only – it is better not to guess.


New Year is the best holiday, we always prepare for it. I make a slide near the house, in the garden, right up to the fence. All come together. I put a live Christmas tree, choose the most beautiful one. We are dressing up with our granddaughter Alyoshka, we are fighting how best to decorate (smiles).


I have been to China many times. I always bring tea from there. I really like green tea with jasmine.


I had an East European Shepherd. My friend gave her such a folklore nickname – Zabava Putyatichna. She lived with me for a long time. And recently a puppy has been nailed – a copy of Zabava. I say: Fun, are you back, or what ?! Fun is Putyatichna! And you must find me. Who threw it up, how did you come? I say: live, there is enough space for everyone!


Consider, my whole life on wheels. There were many different stories. I remember how in 1977 at the World Championships our weight category was awarded by the king of Sweden himself. Photos were taken. A year later, I went there again and saw this photo. By hook or by crook I got it and brought it here.


I did yoga for myself, I know asanas. But Taoist techniques are more attracted. For example, I can rotate 500-600 times. This is how the restoration proceeds, the energy exchange takes place. I also tried healers – this is healing, I did it myself, it worked out. I was in China in places of power, I traveled around many monasteries. I feel the energy.


One of the first training camps took place there, my formation was there. We were preparing for the Spartakiad of the Peoples of the USSR; we were preparing for the Olympic Games there. There was a good base.


I love reading. I have a good library, I collected it when it was still difficult with books. He even brought books from Bulgaria. He loved the classics: both Jack London and almost all of our classics – Gogol, Lermontov. I especially liked the poem “Mtsyri”, I knew almost everything by heart. Now I often read something light on airplanes, newspapers.

Himself a little involved in literature. I have about a dozen scientific articles, I have published a monograph on the selection and training of wrestlers. About the correlation of loads, about the features of the wrestling figure, to whom what techniques are suitable. After all, everything is individual. At one time, Sasha Karelin and I practiced the subtleties of the struggle, certain techniques approached him.


Now my mom is 84 years old. Has recently been with me. For a long time, my mother was a housewife, because you need to look after the garden and do other work. Country sourdough. She also worked in the boiler room, at one time she worked as a postman. And in the war and fell down the forest – she is a home front worker. When I went in for sports, I was always worried and even swore, because I’ll come with a broken ear, then with a rib.


That was the name of my wife. I have lived with her for 28 years. She gave me two daughters. I got married late – at 30. He arrived from Mexico, celebrated his birthday on September 7, and met her on September 22. She was the second secretary of the district committee, a Komsomol member. A friend of mine was the first secretary, he invited me to present a badge, a Komsomol award, and then to a banquet. At the party we met Nina. Made friends a little. We submitted an application on October 10, and on November 18 we got married. Our honeymoon trip took place to Norilsk. Her parents were there and friends – she was lucky to show me.


Omsk is the first city where I went to the competition, it was a tournament for the prizes of the Irtysh. And there they pushed me so hard in two fights. And the ear was broken. There was no experience yet. But the trip itself contributed to the fact that I began to study further.


Native village. This is an integral part of my life. I come, visit my friends, get salted fish. To the dump, as you eat – happy. All my childhood was spent on Biryusa. Swam across the river calmly, alone, was not afraid of anything. I went fishing, hunting. When he returned from the Olympics, the whole village gathered in the club. They greeted me standing. Great.


I love Russia. We have many guys left for America or Canada. No matter how much I met with emigrants – all the same, longing, you can’t hide it anywhere. I do not regret that I have not gone anywhere. Needed where was born. Homeland is not chosen.


I worked as an engineer for four years. There was a dilemma: work or sports. I made my choice. When I won the Olympics, I couldn’t believe it, although I completely gave myself up and gave my best. It is difficult to win the title of Olympic champion, it is even more difficult to carry it with dignity. This is a responsibility. There are no former Olympic champions, this title is always with you.


A slightly sad topic is injuries. At the Olympic Games, in the first fight, I fought against the Hungarian Sheresh. I fought with him before, won without problems. But here in the third period I fell to the ground, and when he pulled me out, I got a strong cut. I thought: that’s it, I fought. But the doctor covered up with a plaster, I finished the fight. They took me to the hospital, darned. And I’m glad I was not removed from the competition. With an injury, I made it to the final and won. In general, during the performance at the competitions, almost all the ribs were broken, I counted 16 fractures. All this had to be overcome, healed and moved on. I broke my ear seven times. But he came to any city, found a person with a broken ear – yours, consider that all your problems have disappeared.


When it’s chilly around, and you eat a hot ear by the fire, that’s the best thing. And I ate ear everywhere: on the Volga, on the Oka, and in the Far East …


Ivan Yarygin and I lit a torch at the first USSR Olympics that we had. In general, a lot is connected with the torch. When the fire of the Olympics is lit – a solemn moment. In Montreal, we were just near the fire when they lit it – it’s unforgettable. Fire always attracts. I have a fireplace at home. Sometimes you just sit near it, look – you throw off all the bad energy. And the Olympic flame absorbs so much energy. Why do oligarchs buy teams? Because this is a terrible energy, they are fed by it. Why did our volleyball players lose at the Olympic Games? They were simply crushed by negative energy. Why did Menkov make two spades? I watched him, he is preparing to jump, and then they give a start at 400 meters. All the stands are buzzing … And so twice.


China comes to mind again. This phrase means very good. China, Japan are interesting countries. Probably, in a past life I lived there somewhere. People in China are very friendly. The Olympic Games gave the country a big boost. Many young people were volunteers, got acquainted with the English language. They put things in order, cleaned all the lawns. Olympic champions receive great privileges, for example, city registration – this is important, because most of them live in rural areas. In China, there are many initiates, a special rite is underway, and Taoist techniques come from the monks. That is why Chinese athletes are so seasoned, nothing touches them.


Recently I flew to Samara for the 20th anniversary of the Central Sports Club of the Air Force. The branch of the Samara CSK VVS worked for more than 15 years. My friend Tolik Bykov was in Samara, he said: “They will come, see the base, do not resist.” When choosing a city for the branch, we took into account the experience of holding two Spartakiads of the peoples of the USSR in Krasnoyarsk, I was appointed head. We have kept many athletes. When did it happen that about 20 people from the region went to the Olympic Games? We went to the winter games, and almost all of them were with me. The first call was Buvaysar Saytiev: when he was called up as a private, he left as a lieutenant colonel. We had a military structure, everyone was proud of it. Now, no, we cannot call, it will affect the results. After all, even if you are in the army for a year, it is very difficult to return to the sport, rarely anyone returns.


Officer’s life obeys its own laws. We are still meeting at the Colonels’ Club, celebrating the holidays together. The honor of an officer plays an important role in life.


My last name. In general, there were many Shumakovs in the Urals. The whole village of Shumakovka was there. They raised Magnitka. And not weak people were Shumakovs. When the war began, my father served near Riga. And he was immediately surrounded. I was in captivity for five years, I don’t know how I survived. They released him in Germany and sent him to Siberia, to the village of Pochet for felling. There they met their mother.


Delicious fish, especially if salted well. And an incomparable feeling when you drag her on a spinning rod!


I have passed a lot of exams. At school in March, I sat down to study textbooks. I studied everything that had to be passed to the Polytechnic Institute. I passed almost everything with A, only Russian failed. The teacher just kicked out. Hooligan, I admit it. I studied easily at the institute. If you read the lectures at the time – the four is provided. I came from competitions and training camps, caught up, overtook and left again.


A lot is connected with the south – Alushta, Crimea. We had a base in Alushta on the Black Sea. In April-May we stopped by. I love warmth, but I also have to go through the winter. This year I swam in the pool all winter, useful.

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