Belarusian athletes often succeeded to conquer Sports Olympus, their names are widely-known all over the world. In addition to victories at the Olympics, the Belarusians became champions and prize-winners of various competitions and championships many times. We are going to tell about the Belarusian athletes, who brought the first Olympic gold for Independent Belarus.
Ekaterina Karsten – rowing
Ekaterina began her athletic career at the age of 15. Three years later Ekaterina became a World Junior Champion and an Honoured Master of Sports. Later Ekaterina Karsten won six World Championships in 1997, 1999, 2005-2007, 2009 in rowing in a single scull. In 1996 Ekaterina became an Olympic Champion, she also successfully won the next Olympics. So, Ekaterina Karsten became the first Double Olympic Champion (1996, 2000) in the history of Independent Belarus. She was awarded the Order of the Fatherland of I, II, III Class, the Order of Honor and became the winner of the "Belarusian Sports Olympus" prize.
Ellina Zvereva – discus throw
Ellina Zvereva won her first (silver) medal at the European Championships in 1994. Next year the athlete won gold and became a World Champion. The same year she received the title of Honored Master of Sports of the Republic of Belarus. Ellina Zvereva is a participant of 5 Summer Olympics (1988, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008). In 1996 the athlete won a silver medal. At the next Olympics in Sydney in 2000 a 39-year-old Zvereva became an Olympic Champion.
Yanina Provalinskaya-Korolchik – shot-put
Sports success came to Yanina in 1998 at the European Championships, when she won bronze. At the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000 the athlete won a gold medal and set a personal record – 20.56 m. The following year she became a World Champion, setting a new personal record – 20.61 m. She was awarded the Order of the Fatherland of the III Class and the title of Honored Master of Sports of the Republic of Belarus.
Igor Makarov – judo
Igor's sports success began in the early 2000s: in 2001 he won a bronze medal at the World Student Games, in 2002 he took third place at the European Championships. At the Olympic Games of 2004 in Athens Igor Makarov won the first Olympic gold in the category of up to 100 kg. Makarov became the history of the Belarusian sports as the first Olympic Champion in judo. Igor Makarov was awarded the title of Honored Master of Sports of the Republic of Belarus and the Order "for personal courage".
Yuliya Nesterenko – athletics
Yuliya won the gold medal at the Olympics of 2004 in Athens in the 100-meter race. The same year she was awarded the Order of the Fatherland III Class. In 2017 Yuliya Nesterenko called time on her career because of the injury and became a coach.
Alexei Abalmasov – rowing and canoeing
Alexei Abalmasov achieved the first serious success in 2001: he won two bronze medals at the European Championships in Milan. This led him to the title of Honored Master of Sports of International Class. He won the Olympics of 2008 in Beijing. In a team with Petrushenko, Makhnev and Litvinchuk he took the first place at a kilometer distance. For this achievement he received the title of Honored Master of Sports of the Republic of Belarus. Later Alexei received the Order of the Fatherland of the III Class.
Roman Petrushenko – rowing and canoeing
Roman received his first medal at the Olympic Games in 2004 and became a bronze medalist. At the next Olympics in Beijing, he won bronze at a distance of 500 meters, and Olympic gold at a distance of 1000 meters in a 4-man canoe. During his sports career he became a 7-time World Champion and a prize-winner of the Olympic Games of 2012. He was awarded the title of Honored Master of Sports, and in 2009 he became the Best Sportsman of the Year of Belarus.
Vadim Makhnev – rowing and canoeing
Vadim Makhnev has become a multiple prize-winner in various European and World Championships since 2001. He won the first bronze at the Olympics of 2004 in a 2-man kayak. At the Olympic Games of 2008 he won a bronze medal in the 2-man kayak and a gold one in the 4-man kayak. At the Olympic Games of 2012 Vadim Makhnev took the second place together with Roman Petrushenko. He was awarded the Order of the Fatherland II, III Class and the Order of Honor.
Arthur Litvinchuk – rowing and canoeing
Arthur is a multiple prize-winner of the World Cup in rowing and canoeing. At the Olympic Games of 2008 in Beijing Litvinchuk won a gold medal at a distance of 1000 meters in the team of Petrushenko, Makhnev and Abalmasov. For this victory Arthur Litvinchuk was awarded the title of Honored Master of Sports of the Republic of Belarus and an Honorary Citizen of Mozyr.
Andrei and Alexander Bogdanovich – rowing and canoeing
The brothers began their sports career in the Bobruisk State School of Olympic Reserve. In 2008 they became Olympic champions in 2-man canoe in the distance of 1000 meters. At the next Olympics in 2012 they won a silver medal. After the Olympic victory they was awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of Bobruisk.
Andrei Aryamnov – weightlifting
A future sportsman decided to start his sports career in weightlifting. He was a great success with sports in 2006, when he won a silver medal at the World Junior Championship. Next year he became a World Champion in weightlifting. At the Olympic Games in Beijing he won a gold medal. That time Andrei Aryamnov set a world record in the category of up to 105 kg: the athlete's performance in the snatch was 200 kg, and the sum total of jerk and push was 436 kg. That year he was awarded the title of Honored Master of Sports of the Republic of Belarus.
Alexei Grishin – freestyle (ski acrobatics)
The first serious sports achievement was in the year of 2000, when young Alexei won a silver medal at the World Cup. Next year Alexei Grishin became a World Champion. At the Olympic Games of 2010 in Vancouver the freestyler won a gold medal. So, Alexei became the first Olympic Champion of the Winter Olympic Games in the history of Belarusian sports.
Sergei Martynov – shooting sports (rifle)
Sergei Martynov became a bronze medalist at the Olympics of 2000 and 2004. In 2012 Sergei Martynov won gold in 50 m rifle shooting from the prone position, so he became the first Olympic Champion in shooting sports in the history of independent Belarus. Sergei Martynov repeated the absolute world record (600 points) 6 times in a row for 15 years. He received the title of Honored Master of Sports of the Republic of Belarus and the Order of the Fatherland of the III Class.
To be continued…