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5 solutions that led to the success of Victor Ana

5 solutions that led to the success of Victor Ana

Russian Victor Ahn, and until recently Korean athlete Ahn Hyun Soo, is the most titled short tracker on the planet. He climbed to the top of the Olympic podium as many as six times, twenty times won the world title. His awards are the fruit of an incredible love of sports, for which Victor was ready for literally anything. This love demanded from him colossal sacrifices and difficult decisions.

Solution one: choose a sport

Ahn started skating in elementary school, at first he was doing it "for general development", but seeing the success of Korean short trackers at the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, he realized that he too should get an Olympic medal. So short track became the meaning of his life.

Victor An remembers how much the Korean athlete Chae Dzhigun, who won the gold medal at a distance of 500 meters, made a huge impression on him, and stresses that his own victories are meant to inspire others: "Before the Olympics in Sochi, the short track was not popular in Russia . Thanks to our team, the situation has changed. Short track fell in love. In Russia now, many thousands of people have learned what a short track is and who Victor An is. Children probably want to start doing our sport in sections. "

Solution two: confront conflict

2003 – 2006 years for the Korean short track became scandalous. Already after An became a Russian, his father confessed: “I will insist that my youngest son also change his citizenship. I will not allow him to go through what his older brother was forced to endure. ”

The point is that in Korea, the university environment is of great importance: graduates of one educational institution support each other and oppose "outsiders". Coach of the team on the short track was a native of the Korean University of Physical Education Kim Hyun. In the same university from 2004 year studied An. A young athlete won one competition after another, and the rest of the team claimed that the coach makes them cover Ana at the expense of himself. In January 2005, a number of Korean media reported that An was beaten by one of the members of the national team. The athletes were determined to support the expulsion of the unloved coach and exert psychological pressure on Ana. As a result, on the eve of the Olympics in Turin, An trained with the women's team.

At the 2006 Olympics, Ahn Hyun-soo won two gold and set a world record, but his success did not bring a friendly atmosphere to the team. His victory exposed the unhealthy spirit of rivalry in the team: in the final race in a row, three Koreans walked, An won, and the other two, instead of bringing the country silver and bronze, faced and dropped out of the race for prizes. Just a few months later, Ana’s father nearly fought with the vice-president of the Korea Skating Union, accusing him of inciting other athletes to prevent An’s victory at the World Championships.

Ana's father has always been a buffer between an athlete and bureaucratic squabbles. He still takes a blow to himself, giving his son the opportunity not to be distracted from the main thing. "I'm speaking, and my father distributes the interview," says Victor An. - After them there was a polarity of opinions, a discussion. And it will benefit the whole sport. Before that, the spirit of protectionism and nepotism reigned in the Korean federation ... This is one of the reasons for my departure. "

Solution three: do not give up

In January 2008, An entered the fence during a team training session and injured his knee. Doctors diagnosed a fracture of the knee joint. The athlete for eight months stopped training and suffered three operations. Despite the injury, An expected to take part in the Olympic Games in Vancouver, but the qualifiers took only 9 place. "After the Olympics in Turin, I was attacked by injuries," says Victor An. "In four years I had four serious injuries. I had only a month to prepare for the qualifying tournament. Alas, but I failed those starts and missed the Games in Vancouver. "

In 2010, Victor again failed to get into the national team. Due to the regular scandals in the Skating Union, the qualifying competitions were postponed from April to October. This knocked down the training schedule - in the end, Ana only 7 place. One of the most popular and once the most successful athletes of Korea was not needed by anyone, and everyone advised him to hang up his skates on a nail:

“There were people in Korea who said to me: let you end up as an athlete, you will be a coach. Even now I am afraid for my knee all the time: it is under enormous pressure. But I continued. I could not do otherwise. I really wanted to. On my skates, the inscription No pain, no gain: no pain - no result. This is my motto. After all, I lost four years due to injury. And now I have to every day, every hour to overcome myself. "

The fourth decision: to come to Russia

Becoming a citizen of Russia, An Hyun-soo chose a new name for himself - Victor: “The choice is connected with the word“ Victor ”, which means“ victory ”. It turns out symbolically, I want this name to bring me luck. I know another Korean named Victor, who is very popular in Russia and well-known in Korea - this is Viktor Tsoi. I would like to become as famous in Russia. I listened to his songs - and I wanted to be Viktor Tsoi of the short track! ”

At the Sochi Olympics, Victor An won the first gold in the history of our country in the short track. His result has surpassed even the most daring predictions: three gold and one bronze medal. "For me in Sochi, the hardest day was the last day of the competition. By this point, I seem to have already won two medals, but ahead there were two more distances. I remember waking up in the morning and realized that there was almost no strength. In addition, the races that evening went one after another. I do not know how I endured it, - Recalls An.

Victor admits that only in Sochi he received something that cannot be measured, but it is very easy to feel - the opportunity to count on his team. That is why of the three gold medals the most "favorite" is won in the relay: "I attached the greatest importance to this particular type. He crowns the competition. Puts a point on them. And our whole team plays in it. We fought together and won. Because in this race the main thing is not the speed, but the team spirit! And we proved we have it. ”

The fifth solution: not to part with your loved ones

“Of course, for every athlete, a dream is to win an Olympic medal. I still do not believe that I showed such a result. This is happiness. I'm happy. My result is the same as in Turin, but the sensations are different. After Turin, I had a serious injury. It was harder to compete here than in Turin. So here I am very happy ", - says Victor.

The first time for complete happiness in Russia, the athlete was missing only his beloved wife Yu Na Ri, who remained in Korea. However, in 2013, the beloved also received Russian citizenship, and now, after much toil, Viktor An has come a series of happy days. The athlete talks about his wife: "She always protects me and cares. Wife is the most important person for me. In general, when I came to Russia, I lived alone for the first year and a half. It was then important for me to finally heal the trauma and start training. And then, when everything began to improve, she came to Russia. And I'm grateful to her for everything. "

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