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Masters athlete Igor Brovin: At our age, people should live to the fullest, travel, do sports, not just waste time watching TV

13.08.2015, 19:00 Sport
“Youth shouldn't be associated with mistakes and maturity should not be considered a merit,” the Masters athletes say. They are mostly to recall their youth and brag about some achievements rather than stop living, enjoying their lives today. Despite their age, many accomplishments and new events are still ahead of them. While being interviewed by a sports reporter of the Kazan 2015 OC's Press Office, Igor Brovin, the Masters tournament athlete, talked about how to be a worthy senior citizen, to have a long healthy lifestyle and how to set a decent example for children and grandchildren.

50 years ago back then in Yaroslavl, in the Army of Navy young man Igor Brovin couldn’t even imagine himself topping the podium one day, claiming gold medal at the International Championships. Nowadays the name of 83 year old athlete is renowned not only inside but also outside Yaroslavl city and his achievements evoke nothing but pride in every single citizen in his city. He is tenderly called as the Gold Grandfather by his children and grandchildren and they have a point. 2006 was the year when Igor Brovin became one of the Masters tournament’s athlete but his passion about swimming started way too earlier.

“I started swimming quite early, then at 18 I joined the Navy where it came right in handy because being a good swimmer I was spotted very fast and was enrolled in the swimming pool right away. I was also provided with a certain leave warrant which let me train in the swimming pools and nights upgrading my speed. Once I have even faced a curious situation. A captain-lieutenant caught up with me while I was swimming out of nowhere and suggested me playing for their team. Can you imagine that back then he already considered me to be a champion one day. And it happened almost so…” Igor Brovin recalled.

The young sailor was not only good at swimming but also at sea multidiscipline competition which was quite popular back then. On his return from the Army Igor Brovin started competing at the USSR Championships and topping the podiums.

“They were looking for someone to join them in the sea multidiscipline competition which included sailing-match, boat racing and gun practice alongside the swimming. That team was already the Soviet Union’s Champion in boat racing whereas I wanted just to have a try first of all. The team surprisingly was very good at running, but not so good at swimming. I was the one who set a new higher level in team’s swimming and we started traveling a lot and grabbing medals as well. There even was a joke concerning our team that Yaroslavl city’s athletes are not that bad in sport!" jokingly said Igor Brovin.

His life developed in the usual way of every Soviet Union’s citizen – first he got an education, then started working but there always was a certain place for sport, for swimming to be precise in his life. This sort of passion was so strong that he travelled to the nearby Kostroma to have swimming trainings there because this very city was already provided with the indoor swimming pool. In Yaroslavl swimming pool appeared pretty late when Igor Brovin had already been a title holder with medals under his belt for several times. No one but Igor Brovin was assigned to be the head coach in the first city swimming pool ever.

“The first swimming pool was built in 1967 and I was invited to be the head coach there. Afterwards I earned the title the Master of Sports, then the Soviet Union Champion. I’ve also been coaching the Paralympic team, nothing has changed since then and I am about to keep going! Back then I hadn’t swum before at this kind of Championships but my trainees had and also claimed a lot of medals. Some time later when the Masters tournament appeared my friend suggested me competing there and I easily agreed!” the swimmer shared his life experience.

It’s been 11 years now since Igor Brovin has been competing in the Masters tournament, grabbing medals, earning titles and playing a certainly positive role model for the coming generation. The Gold Grandfather truly seems to be that rich in gold medals as he can not give a clear answer concerning the quantity of his medals.

“Well, saying that I am a repeat World and European Champion you will be quite right. I personally have no idea how many and what kind of medals I have, all of them are gold, silver and many other!” Igor Brovin joked.

It is interesting to know that a Masters athlete pays all the expenses of the tournament by himself. Sometimes he is likely to receive some prizes, get awarded but in general all the costs are covered only by a Masters participant.

“I am 83 years old now but I am still coaching. I usually save up money for the competitions. My family helps me as well. I think at my age people should not keep watching TV, they should swim, travel, discover the world, in one single word they should live to the fullest!” the swimmer said.

Swimming seems to be not only a hobby for Igor Brovin but also a way to maintain good health and keep fit. He personally sets an excellent example for youth and the coming generation. It is the plain truth which presents everyone with the motivation and energy to get into this kind of sports adventure by only simple look at the so called the Gold Grandfather. 

“The Championships for me is the way to meet new people, to grab medals, to have a rest at the end of the day. As long as I am this healthy I am going to keep on swimming and coaching my trainees. At the Masters tournament in Kazan, I’ve competed at the open water event, 100m, 200m and 400m swimming events and it is just the beginning because pretty soon I am about to gear up for the next Championships. As for the youngsters they definitely should go in for sports, lead a healthy sporty lifestyle! A person originally is provided with two arms and two legs that should be always activated, let’s call it in motion because sport brings life alongside!"

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