As you know, there have been very strong fighters in Russia since ancient times. The school of Greco-Roman wrestling began to develop especially dynamically during the Soviet period, which paid special attention to sports and physical education. One of such people who can be safely ranked among the "golden" generation of Russian sports is Alexander Karelin. The biography of this athlete will be discussed in detail in this article.
Birth and start of sports
The outstanding world-class wrestler was born on September 19, 1967 in the city of Novosibirsk. Alexander became interested in Greco-Roman wrestling at the age of fourteen. Its first section was the Petrel. After three years of training, he was able to fulfill the standard of the USSR master of sports, and a year later he became an international master of sports.
Education and research
In 1985, Alexander Karelin, whose biography is a worthy example for the younger generation, graduated from a motor transport technical school in his hometown and decided to become a cadet of the Novosibirsk Higher Military Command School of the Internal Troops of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs. In the same year, the recruit was sent to serve in the sports company of the Siberian Military District. Also, the future Olympic champion graduated from the St. Petersburg University of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia.
Karelin made his contribution to sports not only with the medals he won, but also with his Ph.D. thesis, the theme of which was: "The technique of conducting counter-moves from throws by deflection." Her defense took place at the Lesgaft Academy. This scientific work to this day is an excellent practical guide for many Russian wrestlers.
In 2002, Karelin defended his doctoral dissertation on the topic "Systems of Integral Training of Highly Qualified Wrestlers". This unique study is based on analytical work that has been extended with more than 400 athletes. In the course of it, tactics, psychology and characteristics of wrestlers were studied. Based on the results of this scientific work, Alexander concluded: an athlete who is not able to control himself, demonstrating a lack of emotional stability, shows unsatisfactory results in competitions. Some modern experts in the world of sports believe that Karelin's dissertation can help to derive the "formula" of an ideal fighter.
So our Russian hero is strong not only physically, but also very smart. In a word, San Sanych is an intellectual who adequately defends the colors of the flag of his homeland.
First sporting success
Alexander Karelin (his biography is respected even by opponents) can call his first sporting achievement a victory at the World Youth Championship in 1985. This achievement was made possible thanks to his perseverance, diligence and dedication. In many ways, this is also the merit of his coach, Viktor Kuznetsov, who, by the way, remained his only mentor for his entire sports life.
The next year, Karelin wins such competitions as:
- Championship of the Soviet Union among juniors.
- Summer Spartakiad of the peoples of the RSFSR.
- International tournament dedicated to the memory of Ivan Poddubny.
- Spartakiad of the USSR.
- European Junior Championship.
- Championship of the RSFSR.
Successes in 1987 year
At the age of 20, Alexander was able to take first place in the European championship, win the World Cup, become the best in the RSFSR championship. At the USSR championship, he took second place, losing to the leader of the country's wrestlers Igor Rostorotsky (the score was 0: 1).
The best in the USSR
For the first time, Alexander Karelin became the champion of the Union (the biography of the wrestler is now available to everyone) in 1988. And this despite the fact that at the time of the tournament the wrestler had a concussion and had a fever. It was then that he defeated the recognized leader of the national team Igor Rostorotsky for the first time. However, the team's coaches were not impressed with the result and in the summer they conducted another test - an extraordinary training camp, which was won by Karelin. In the same year, the young athlete won the grand prix in Germany and the grand prix among amateurs in Budapest.
In 1988, Alexander Alexandrovich Karelin went to the Olympic tournament for the first time. At that time, his weight was 112 kilograms. In the final match, the Russian met with the representative of Bulgaria, Rangel Gerovski. In the first period, our hero lost with a score of 2: 3, but fifteen seconds before the end of the fight, he was able to carry out his favorite "reverse belt" technique and win his first Olympic gold.
In 1992, Karelin Alexander Alexandrovich again went to the Olympic championship. And in exactly the same way, the fate of the gold medal was decided in a matter of moments. True, this time it happened at the beginning of the main fight. In the final, San Sanych met with the legendary Swedish athlete Thomas Johansson. The Scandinavian wrestler could not hold out for two minutes. Thus, Karelin became a two-time Olympic champion.
1993 World Championship of the Year
Looking ahead, we note that the tournament was won by Alexander Karelin. The fight with the first opponent should be described separately.
In the first round of the competition, the Russian met with US citizen Matt Gaffari. According to Karelin himself, after winning the first point, he tried to turn his opponent over and injured two ribs. Moreover, the lower one literally came off, and the second, located nearby, broke. These two small bones pressed on the liver during the struggle, and therefore Alexander all the time felt a sharp taste of bile. However, in the end he was able to win with a score of 3: 0. But the hardest test was ahead ...
20 minutes after the meeting with the American, the Russian wrestler took to the carpet against the already known to us Thomas Johansson. At first, the Swede was able to win one point due to the fact that Karelin did not have time to straighten up during the opponent's attack. But after that Alexander successfully completed his favorite “reverse belt” three times and won with a score of 12: 1.
Alexander Karelin, the champion of many competitions, spent the next fights in the tournament more calmly and confidently and in the final he was able to win cleanly against the Moldovan Sergey Mureiko.
The injury took a long time to heal. For two and a half months, Alexander could not only fight, but even run. Moreover, breathing in a calm state was also difficult.
Continuing a career as a wrestler
The following years were also successful for Karelin. He became world champion in 1994 and 1995, helped to defeat the Russian national team in a match against the world team. In the fall of 1995, he won a tournament of his own name, held in Novosibirsk. Matt Gaffari, already known to us, opposed him in the final. But it is especially worth telling about the 1996 European Championship.
In the course of this tournament, Karelin had a serious problem: he had an avulsion of the pectoralis major muscle, which led to a hematoma weighing one and a half kilograms. This resulted in the athlete being unable to act with his right hand. In such a situation, in fact, the Russian had nothing to hope for, but he did the impossible - he won the competition! After the finale, he underwent an operation that lasted two hours.
Alexander himself later said that Hungarian doctors gave him disappointing predictions about his recovery. But the doctor of the Russian national team, Valery Sergeevich Okhapkin, helped Karelin recover as quickly as possible. Already in 1996, he again became (for the third time) an Olympic champion, which was already surprising in itself, given the severity of this sport.
The dramatic finale of the Sydney Olympics shocked many wrestlers. Alexander Karelin (his height is 191 cm) in the fight for the first place lost to Roll Gardner. The first period of the fight ended with a score of 0: 0. According to the rules in force at that time, the athletes were put in a cross grip. The referee, however, considered that the Russian was the first to unclench his hands, and awarded one point to the American, which gave him the opportunity to defeat the famous Russian. As a result, Karelin lost for the first time in 13 years of his career and won a silver medal. His defeat was a disappointment for many fans, but the national team eventually took the first team place.
According to Alexander himself, the defeat was due to emotional emptiness. He did not feel like making excuses, believing that such behavior would only humiliate him. In any case, three gold and one silver Olympic medals for a sports career is a result that is unattainable for anyone else from the current wrestlers in the world.
Fight with the Japanese
In 1999, the Russian was offered to hold a duel according to the rules of the then emerging mixed martial arts. The opposition "Alexander Karelin - Maeda" was seen by millions of viewers around the world. By the way, the prize fund was just a colossal amount at that time: one million US dollars. But since Karelin did not have the right to compete for money in accordance with the Olympic Charter, the fight went off without reward.
February 20, 1999. Fight of Alexander Karelin with the Japanese. According to the previously agreed-upon rules, the Russian wrestler had no right to strike and had to use exclusively wrestling techniques. For some time, the representative of the Land of the Rising Sun actively used kicks and kept the Russian at a distance, but ultimately Karelin was still able to hold his signature "reverse belt" and win the fight. After the fight, the seconds helped the Japanese to leave the ring, since he himself was not able to walk. And this despite the fact that not a single blow was inflicted on him!
Nowadays, Alexander Karelin, for whom the family plays a leading role in life, continues to actively work for the benefit of society. He lives alternately in Moscow, then in Novosibirsk. In 1998 he was recognized as an honorary citizen of his hometown. He has a wife, two sons and a daughter, Vasilisa.
The son of Alexander Karelin, Ivan, is also involved in wrestling and in 2014 finished fifth in the Russian championship. Vasilisa is actively involved in rhythmic gymnastics.
Since 1995 San Sanych has the rank of colonel of the tax police. Elected four times to the State Duma of Russia. He was a member of the Health and Sports Committee. Has the award of the Hero of Russia, the Order of Friendship of Peoples, Honor, "For services to the Fatherland." In 2013 he was awarded a certificate of honor of the President of the Russian Federation.
By the way, Karelin is one of the twenty-five best athletes around the world in the twentieth century. He is on a par with such legendary personalities as Pele, Muhammad Ali, Larisa Latynina.