Official website of 16th FINA World Masters Championships 2015 in Kazan

Stanislav Viazovskii: I’ve already made a plan for the FINA World Masters in Budapest

12.08.2015, 19:12 Sport
Participants of the FINA World Masters Championships amaze spectators, fans and the entire world with their incredible zest for life and resilience. Most of them fight against serious diseases and do everything in their power to prolong their life. Swimming and physical fitness help them preserve their youth and restore their health. As for medals, they come as a welcome addition that can be later shown to grandchildren.

This view is also shared by one of the participants of the Masters tournament, Stanislav Viazovskii, who strongly believes that sport will help him to live a long happy life. Quite recently he has achieved a personal record swimming streak by covering a total of 5,000 kilometres throughout his entire life. He told about this and some other interesting facts about his life to a press reporter of the Kazan 2015 OC’s Press Office.

– What other events will you compete in and did you manage to win anything?

– I entered to compete in six events: 3km open water swim, 50m butterfly and 100m breaststroke. I was outpaced by a Canadian swimmer in the latter event and finished fourth. But the good thing is that I beat the Russian record. I have three more events ahead of me: 50m and 200m breaststroke, 400m freestyle.

– So you have rather ambitious plans about winning medals?  

– Not only about medals. I’ve already made a plan for the FINA World Championships in 2017. I’ve set a date when I buy tickets, when I go to the embassy, etc.

– Please tell us about your first steps in swimming and why today this sport plays such an important role in your life.

– I’m from Samara. Right now I’m 80 years old. When I was 15, I became the Kuybyshev Oblast champion in the breaststroke event. My time was 2:09. Since then I’ve been always swimming. I’ve had a busy life: college, university, teaching job at school, first wife and two kids, second wide and also two kids. I never had time to swim professionally, I swam only for myself. I kept a log and recorded every kilometre and every metre I swam. All in all, I completed 10 logs and I still keep one and I can say that as of today I’ve swum 5,472 kilometres throughout my entire life.

– What with the logs? Was it a plan from the very start or it happened by accident?

– I set myself a task to swim 5,000 kilometres, And on January 18, on the day of my grandson’s birthday, when he turned 26, I made some sort of gift to him. I know a runner from Togliatti, Nikolay Mikhailov. He’s been keeping a log of the kilometres he covers every day. As it turns out he's run the distance that is enough to circle the Earth's equator 5 times. I think he inspired me to start keeping a log and keep record of all the kilometres and metres I swam during my entire life. 

– How, when and where do you swim?

– Honestly, I do not swim in winter as there is no swimming pool in Krasny Yar, the place I’m from. But from May to August I swim every day in the Sok River, a tributary of the Volga River. I’m glad I won the 3km open water event. I’m used to swimming in cold water.

– So your body is as hard as nails?

– Yes, I won the Russian Swimming Championships in the Istrinskoye Reservoir in the Moscow Oblast last year. Here in Kazan I beat Igor Brovin, a very strong swimmer from Yaroslavl. I could not even dream about it! The volunteers asked for an autograph, but I said that I would do it after I had a medal round my neck. I could not believe I was the first.

– Who came to Kazan to support you?

– My daughter, granddaughter, friends are here in Kazan. They are chanting and cheering for me. They’ve even made a ‘Go, Viazovskii, go!’ sign.

– Did you plan to take a medal in the 50m butterfly?

– Today my daughter said: “It’s high time to get a big bronze medal!” Then I had a talk with one of the swimmers and he said: “You bend your legs too much, you need to bend them less. It’s better to make an exit from the water after every three leg kicks.” He gave me this advice 40 minutes before the start. One can say he gave me a valuable lesson. I went to swim this race for the second time in my life and I am the world champion.

– Were the rivals a match to you?

– The US athlete posed some threat. He won the 100m breaststroke, after all. But I beat everybody in the butterfly event. I don’t know if that man’s advice helped me or not. I was so nervous that I could sleep only 2.5 hours that night.

– Two and a half hours? It's too little sleep. What about your health?

– I underwent two oncology operations. I have such diseases as congenital heart disorder, CAD, asthma which I have been struggling quite successfully. Swimming helps a lot here. I run health promotion lessons to 520 women in Krasny Yar. Can you imagine I have missed no training sessions within 11 years? When I leave for competitions, there are special people who help me to practice my set of exercises.

– How do you rate the results of the 16th FINA World Championships?

– Have you yourself seen Team Russia’s performance? How many medals did they earn, if we take swimming only? Here another question comes up: what should we do to make our swimmers win more medals? First of all, it is up to parents to make a difference. They are usually happy about how well their child can float on water. In fact, parents of an athlete must schedule their child’s minute-by-minute regime: what time to have meals, what time to go to bed, what time to train or rest. If the family does not help to maintain this regime, it is a challenge to bring up a strong athlete. They should motivate their child to be more disciplined and love swimming. I know one family story when mom would send her son to learn to swim every year and every year the coaches had excuses. Now we know this boy as a world and European breaststroke champion. This is an example of persistence every parent of an athlete should follow.

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