Alexei Shumakov, the Olympic champion, president of the Greco-Roman wrestling federation of Krasnoyarsk, who for a long time was the head of the local branch of the CSK VVS, I wanted to talk to for a long time. But, as you know, man proposes, and God disposes. However, the Almighty has recently judged that our conversation with the famous athlete must necessarily take place.
“If you lose, I’ll unscrew your head”
– Alexey Vasilyevich, what happened to the voice?
– He started to sit down in 1975 before the Olympics. Maybe because of the workload, maybe because I was a cheerful student, I yelled songs with a guitar on Stolby … The exact reason is unknown.
– I heard that Ivan Yarygin had an omen associated with you.
– It was like that. In 1973, at the Continental Championship in Spain, I finished second. I fought in Europe for the first time, and I also had the Olympic winner Gheorghe Berchanu as my opponents. Then, at the next European Championship in Germany, I again got silver. And when we arrived at the Olympic Games in Montreal, Ivan said jokingly: “Look, Lyosha, you lost in Spain – and I could not win. You lost in the FRG – and so did I. If you lose here, I’ll unscrew my head. ” I had to win.
– By the way, how did your relationship develop?
– We didn’t just talk – we were friends with families. When we were in Krasnoyarsk, we practically did not part. We spent all the holidays together. We went out of town. And our children were constantly with each other. This friendship with Natalia is still preserved.
– Why were you given a control fight for the right to get to the Olympics in Montreal, although that year you won all the tournaments?
– Because the coaches wanted to play it safe from a political point of view. It’s not easy to put Shumakov … They gave estimates, who won – the strongest. And plus the result. And the result I had was this: a victory at the European Championship in Leningrad, the tournament of Ivan Poddubny, before Montreal I won all international tournaments. But that was not enough. And literally two weeks before departure, we had control fights. At that time, the issue was not resolved in two weight categories. I fought four-time world champion Volodya Zubkov. And it was at the training base “Stayki” in Belarus, for which my opponent played. Everyone surrounded the carpet and watched. I was in good shape then and won. And Volodya felt that he might not get in, so he spent a lot of energy on various everyday issues: he punched garages for himself, cars … By the way, I was also offered to buy a Moskvich before the last gathering. Then all this was in short supply. I refused, so as not to waste either time or energy, and concentrated on the struggle. After all, I would have had to borrow money, put the car somewhere … Superfluous worries were useless.
Volodya Cheboksarov and also four-time world champion Nazarenko from Alma-Ata argued at 82 kilograms.
– As a result, Cheboksarov became the second at the Olympic Games.
– Yes. This is due to the lot. I had to share medals with the Yugoslavs so that everyone else would have a green street: this applies to refereeing and everything else. Two gold medals – 57 and 82 kilograms – were donated. However, our team managed to win seven first places, two second places and one third place. All the guys came with medals. This is a record that will never be surpassed.
– Have you faced injustice on the carpet?
– Of course. And they condemned, and did not give points. But these are quite obvious and understandable things. The Soviet Union was the strongest team, and we always tried to make sure that the medals went not only to our athletes. Because of the refereeing, many suffered. But if the wrestler is confident in himself and is in good shape, no referee will take away the victory. Basically, such moments happened when there was an equal fight. At the World Championships in Sweden in 1977, they tried to hinder me, they wanted to give a warning for passive wrestling. And the rival was a young Bulgarian, such a greyhound, his compatriots wanted him to take gold. But I won.
Without patriotism, but with money
– After winning the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, speaking at a rally in Moscow, Ivan Yarygin uttered patriotic words: “We felt the breath of the Motherland …”. Did you go out on the carpet to fight for what first of all?
– Our sense of patriotism was highly developed. These are not just words. We had a great power, one of the strongest teams in the world. And not only in the fight. There was prestige, there was education. This cannot be taken away. We were not fighting for money, we were fighting for an idea, for the Union, for the Motherland. It was in every member of the national team, be it Georgian, Armenian, Uzbek or someone else. We lived in a very friendly national team. Wherever we went, we were well received. The Union was a kind of world where it was comfortable and cozy in any republic.
– Don’t you think that priorities have changed a lot: they used to go out to fight for ideology, but now they are trying to make money?
– It does not seem – it is. Material incentive comes first. And then everything else. In fact, ideological work is not being carried out. No, as in our team, psychologists. They were not only engaged in ideology, but also directly in psychological training, autogenic training. We had a strong scientific team. Coach Viktor Mikhailovich Igumenov knew absolutely everything about each team member. Now no money is allocated for this.
– Mikhail Mamiashvili claims that modern classic wrestlers do not have a developed psychology of a winner. Do you agree?
– Yes. Let’s even take our Khushtov and Mankiev, who lost at the World Championship. I think this is a psychological flaw. There is no certainty that you are stronger, that if not you, then who. Such a guy must be inspired. Confidence should sit in his subcortex. Then it will be a fighter!
Karelin’s signature move
– Yuri Patrikeev, who, due to a conflict with the then coach of the national team Gennady Sapunov, who also trained you, began to play for Armenia, I am convinced that both he and the current head of the national team Gogi Koguashvili have outdated working methods.
– Despite the intrigues, numerous shortcomings, Sapunov is a great coach. He finds guys everywhere and makes them champions of Europe, the world and the Olympic Games. Although I also had a difficult relationship with him. He did not put me on the Olympics in Moscow. I was number one. But literally two weeks before the start of the tournament, he started to arrange unnecessary control fights for anyone. I was not ready for them. And all this resulted in the fact that I did not get to the Olympic Games. Only thanks to Sapunov. But now, when we see him, we communicate in a friendly manner.
The national team is a whole organism that lives its own life. And to say that someone was appointed, who is not, is wrong. Because it is a natural process, the fittest survives. Selection is in progress. However, in any case, Patrikeev found an option and became the medalist of the Olympic Games.
As for the methods of work, it is a moot point whether they are outdated or not.
– We recently corresponded with a friend who was professionally involved in wrestling, who complained that the best athletes from all over Russia are taken to Moscow, where they live in unsanitary conditions, go to summer camps at their own expense … And he summed it up, saying that the whole system was rotten.
– A rotten system is the result of poor funding. Because practically no money is allocated for the fight. And they live at the expense of institutions, at the expense of such centers, which, for example, is headed by Igumenov. There are clubs that are funded by entrepreneurs. It still comes from the state. In China, sports are supported by the authorities, and this gives results. Both the fees and funding are adequately provided.
– Don’t you think that the role of undercover games in wrestling has increased now?
– Yes, they have always been. And in our time too. At the Olympics in Moscow, at first they wanted to put a Georgian instead of me, but in the end a wrestler from Kazakhstan competed. We went to Kunaev, Kunaev to Brezhnev …
– How do you feel about the fact that the rules of the fight are constantly changing?
– It’s not always for the best. The changes are aimed at giving even a weaker athlete a chance to have a chance. And as many countries as possible participated in the medal distribution. The most striking confirmation of the imperfection of the rules is that Sasha Karelin was not allowed to become a four-time Olympic champion. Unjust moments will continue as long as there is such an organization as FILA and its president, Martinetti, who are plotting.
– By the way, Karelin said that you spied his signature “reverse belt” technique.
– Yes, I was lucky. Once the senior coach of the USSR youth team invited me to one of the training camps. And Sasha Karelin was just there. I worked with him with pleasure. The whole collection is practically. I showed him the little things that, in general, affect the effectiveness and efficiency of the reception. I put Sasha a strut with my legs, a jerk with my hands … All the details that the older generation passed on to me. Nail Garayev at one time gave me this technique well. And I am proud that I somehow helped Karelin in setting up the technique. And then I saw all these nuances that I worked with him in his fights.
Uncle of Marina Vlady
– Do any of our wrestlers look like you? span>
– Mankiev. He reminds me of my height, technique and tactics. It also works well on the ground. I believe that Mankiev is my successor.
At one time, when I headed the regional team, we set a goal to educate Olympic champions. And they achieved it. Let it be in thirty years, but still.
– You were the head of the branch of the CSK VVS. How would you rate the development of sports in the army today?
– Nothing. Now everything is being done to remove big sport from the army. Our branch was downsized, only three or four clubs were left all over Russia. It’s about nothing. Army sports are not supported. If a wrestler, for example, enters the army for a year, then it will be difficult to return to the sport.
– Why is this happening?
– Who needs a strong Russia? Have you asked yourself this question? Ask.
– As president of the city federation of Greco-Roman wrestling, what are your daily business?
– The Rodina cinema was transferred to the city school in Greco-Roman wrestling. A competition for the design of the building will take place shortly. Work in this direction is slowly but progressing. It will be a large complex consisting of several gyms, rehabilitation and competition centers. We took out the trash, now we are putting the building in order, and the federation is looking for sources that would help us. I think that within three years the complex will be ready and will be a good help for the development of Greco-Roman wrestling in the city.
Recently we sent a team of the edge to Engels. There are also two strategic aircraft associated with the name of our region – “Krasnoyarsk” and “Ivan Yarygin”, whose pilots always come to the tournament named after our two-time Olympic champion. Therefore, it was prestigious for the federation to support these competitions in Engels. And we performed there with dignity.
Work continues on the development of Greco-Roman wrestling in the city. Now we are looking for a place in the Oktyabrsky district where we could open a point. Trying to keep the old ones. The VVS CSK was closed and we want to leave the fighting hall. There is already an agreement with the governor to open a branch in the province. Let’s fight.
– Does the state support the Olympic champions of previous years?
– Of course it does. For many years, all Olympic champions have been paid a scholarship of 15 thousand rubles. I think this is a great help, especially for the older generation. And now, if this is true, since January 1, the allowance has been doubled. This is a strong support for us.
– When you were a coach, you traveled to Argentina and Japan on an exchange. What do you remember about your time there?
– For us it was like an incentive trip. For a month I trained with wrestlers from these countries. It was interesting to talk with parents and students, to see Buenos Aires, Rosario, Tokyo, to see their way of life. We put equipment on local athletes, showed techniques. Our technique is good, we have something to show. They liked it. And there, and there they worked with students, with various teams.
The Japanese are somewhat reminiscent of our Khakass, and not only externally. Japan is generally an interesting country. I was probably Japanese in a past life, I was drawn there all the time. I visited the Land of the Rising Sun twice, the second time during the Winter Olympic Games in Nagano.
In Argentina, we ate at the club where Maradona trained. The way of life there is provincial, calm. No fights, squabbles. I have not heard a single mate. There was such a funny episode. At the farewell party, he said a toast and drank it, held the glass in a peculiar way, somehow arching his hand (we like it so much). And everyone, including grandmothers and grandfathers, began to imitate me. It looked very comical (laughs). We had a friend, the waiter Hector. When we were leaving, he cried, gave us vodka. Mostly Russian vodka brands such as “Smirnovskaya” and “Nikolaevskaya”. Our emigrants also brought it in. By the way, there are many of them. I was present in Argentina at my uncle Marina Vlady’s birthday party. His son worked as a translator for us. I was visiting them. His wife is Italian, but speaks Russian. They live in a cottage on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. We sat, talked, remembered, it was interesting.
– If you started writing a book, what three things would you definitely mention?
– The whole wrestling career. There one clings to another, facts are inseparable from each other. I accidentally came to sports, preparing to become an energy engineer. And, probably, an engineer would be a good one, because I studied well. I defended myself with excellent marks, and they took me to a research institute with pleasure. And he did a good job there. The sport just took its toll. Coaching activities along with trips to all kinds of tournaments, work with the youth team of the Union. And the rest of my life. Army years for me – a whole era.