20-24 February 2013

Belarus on a Pedestal

Aleksandr Medved

(Freestyle Wrestling)

Three times he became the Olympic champion (in 1964, 1968, and 1972) and seven times he won the World Championships. In 2005, he was recognized as the best athlete in the history of freestyle wrestling, with his name introduced in the wrestling Hall of Fame.

“I’ve never been seeking fame; don’t think it is lack of modesty, but success has always found me due to my hard work and persistence. I’m sure that every athlete should possess these qualities…”

Aleksandra Gerasimenya


Champion of the 2011 World Aquatics Championships, in swimming (100 m freestyle); champion and silver medalist of the 2010 European Championships.

“One shouldn’t consider himself luckless, every time trying to find evidences of this! Stay positive. Every new day try to gain a victory over a person you were yesterday; go ahead and you’ll see how lucky and happy you are”.

Leonid Taranenko


1980 Olympic champion, 1992 Olympic silver medalist. Twice he became the World champion (in 1980 and 1990), four times he won the European Championships. He set 19 world records; two of them, 266 kg in clean and jerk and 475 kg in snatch and clean and jerk totally, haven’t been beaten up to date.

“I would advise first of all to decide on a sports discipline to everyone, who wants to take sports. Then, you should set forth an aim and keep working and working. Sports achievements are a matter of hard work at first; and only then talent comes”.

Darya Domracheva


2012 World champion in pursuit; three times she became a silver medalist of the World Championships (in 2008, 2011, and 2012). She was announced the 2010 best biathlonist, according to the Biathlon-Award.

“Every start is a good lesson for every athlete. Competition is a very fast-going training, when you have to show your skills and all what you have learnt before… You should always have faith in yourself and never give up”.

Victoria Azarenka


World number one in WTA singles’ rankings.

“I’m a kind of a person, who has never been satisfied with the achieved results, trying to gain new heights every time. I don’t mean tennis only and can say it about my life in general. I always try to make maximal efforts and not to lose. I wish more victories happen in the life of every athlete”.

Aleksei Grishin

(Freestyle Skiing)

Champion of the XXI Winter Olympics in Vancouver, 2010; bronze medalist of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City; silver medalist of the 2003 World Championships in Salt Lake City.

“I think, if our Belarusian guys keep working without laziness, pushing themselves to the limits, they will succeed. This fact has already been proved; I have proved it to myself, in my career. There is nothing impossible, if you are aimed to win and follow this aim”.

Ekaterina Karsten


Twice the Olympic champion: winner of the XXVI Olympics in Atlanta, in 1996, and XXVII Olympics in Sidney, in 2000. Silver medalist of the 2004 Olympics in Athens, bronze winner of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Six time she became the World champion in single sculls.

“Rowing is the sports of my life. And to win has never been the most important thing. As for me, it has always been interesting to participate in competitions. Though, every time you want to be the first. But nobody knows, what may happen. And I keep working to become even better!”

Yulia Nestsiarenka


Olympic champion of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, in 100 metres race.

“When you are staying on the track right before the start, feeling the starting blocks under your feet, you should be angry. I mean a peculiar anger of sports excitement. Sport is a tough thing. And you’d never be a whiner”.

Antonina Koshel

(Rhythmic Gymnastics)

Olympic champion of the XX Olympic Games in Munich (Germany, 1972) in team all-round.

“The feeling of the forthcoming victory… it exists. It’s a kind of inner calmness, or a feeling that you are ready to win; a certain feeling of self-confidence, when you can’t deceive yourself. Before the Olympic start I imagined my program in my sleep, and I entered the carpet being absolutely calm. I knew I was ready to win, and I managed to win!”

Marina Lobatch

(Rhythmic Gymnastics)

Olympic champion of the XXIV Olympics in Seoul (South Korea, 1988) and a repeated world champion (in 1984—1989). She is a silver medalist of the Goodwill Games (in 1986).

“It is impossible to get used to the podium, as far it is impossible to book a place on it. Every time you start your way to it from scratch, whatever a great athlete you are. And the basic feeling you have when you are staying on top of the podium, is the feeling of excitement, when you understand that you managed to get the better of yourself, to win over yourself, your competitors and all the circumstances”.


© Belarusian Cycling Federation, 2012