The 2012 Olympic Games have come to a close in London. The performances given by top athletes have now turned into history. The games have brought triumph to some, and deep disappointment to others.
Through my usual analysis of the Ossetian athletes achievments (representing Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Canada), I came to the conclusion that similarly to their countless fans, they too brought indescribable happiness and triumph, as well as the bitter frustration of loss of some.
Two gold, four silver and three bronze medals were awarded to the representatives of our tiny Ossetian nation in four different sports.
For a population as small as that of a medium sized Western city, this is indeed a breakthrough accomplishment.
With this in mind, the fact that three of our medalists were not representing Russia, but other former USSR countries, just further highlights the number of young thriving talents in Ossetia. One Russian national team alone cannot hold them.
I want to remind you that this united national Russian team had ten Ossetian representatives in the London Olympics competing in 6 different kinds of sport. They were; Greko-Roman wrestlers Khasan Baroev, Rustem Totrov, and Alan Khugaev; Freestyle wrestlers Besik Kudukhov, and Alan Gogaev; Weightlifters Ruslan Albegov and Svetlana Tsarukaeva; Fencer Aida Shanaeva; Equestrian Vladimir Tuganov; And sprinter Soslan Tsirikhov. Moreover, some Ossetians representing 6 other countries also flew to the Olympics to make their mark. They included; Wrestlers Artur Taimazov(Uzbekistan), Soslan Tigiev(Uzbekistan), Zaurbek Sokhiev (Uzbekistan), Ibragim Aldatov (Ukraine), Soslan Gatsiev (Belarus), Khetag Gozyumov (Azerbaijan), Khetag Pliev (Canada) and Taimuraz Tigiev (Kazakhstan).
When talking about the accomplishments of our Ossetians at London Olympics, the first name we must mention is Artur Taimazov as he is now a three-time Olympic champion, engraving his name amongst the highest ranking athletes of our modern world. Only one athlete, Aleksander Karelin, has been able to accomplish winning so many medals in wrestling (three gold and one silver). Three gold medals were also awarded to A. Medved, and B. Saitiev. But unlike Taimazov and Karelin, they weren’t fortunate enough to gain a silver medal in their fourth Olympics. I have been carefully watching Taimazov’s performance since he was competing in the youth tournaments, and I always knew he would become a truly breakthrough athlete, a pride and joy to all Ossetians. Moreover he is a wonderful young man who respects and loves Ossetian people, culture and traditions.
Greko-Roman wrestler Alan Khugaev has also made his fans very happy this year. He managed to beat all his opponents and get the gold medal. Tremendous accomplishment for Khugaev and for whole Ossetian Greco-Roman wrestling team! Great job Alan!
We have different feelings regarding the Olympic silver medals of our fellow Ossetians. If for some being the second in the highest level competition is apparent success, the others, like the free-style wrestling four time world champion Besik Kudukhov, take their silver medals as a regretful failure and a great upset. We hope Svetlana Tsarukaeva, Aida Shanaeva and Rustem Totrov still have enough power and a will in order to change their medals for gold in a future.
A super heavy weight weightlifter Ruslan Albegov had a great potential to win the Games. And he successfully did half of the job. He won the Snatch with 210 kg but lost the Clean & Jerk to Iranians because of the injury. His bronze medal is just the first attempt to conquer the Olympic top and become the strongest man in the world.
Unlikely the many, Soslan Tigiev hardly considers his bronze Olympic medal in the free-style wrestling tournament as a great success. He was the second at 2008 Olympics and aimed gold in London. No luck this time. Will he keep going and make his dream come true in Rio? We will see.
The Olympic performance of the other Ossetian free-style wrestler, a 2010 world champion Khetag Gozyumov cannot be described in few words. They say his bronze medal equals to a gold one. Being considered by the specialists as the most probable winner in the 96 kg weight class, he had a good start in tournament. But later, wrestling the Ukrainian V.Andriitsev he suddenly have felt not well and he lost the match. His blood pressure dropped and they were taking him to the hospital when he found out that he is still eligible to compete for the bronze medal. Khetag asked the ambulance crew to return back to the arena, and after having some treatment with the dropper he stepped on the mats again to wrestle a strong opponent from Tadzhikistan. And he won.
Here is what Reuters wrote on Aug.12:
LONDON: A wrestler who was taken to hospital by ambulance after his heart started racing during a quarter-final defeat got up from his bed and returned to win a bronze medal at the London Olympics on Sunday.
Azerbaijan’s Khetag Gazyumov, 29, left the wrestling mat in a wheelchair after his heart rate soared to a dangerous 260 beats per minute, compared to a typical 60-100.
But he decided to return to the Games when he heard he had earned a place in the bronze medal playoff because he had been beaten by one of the eventual finalists.
He comfortably beat Rustam Iskandari of Tajikistan on the way to bronze.
“I clenched my fist and decided to do the best I could for my country,” he told reporters. “It’s strange, but it’s sport.”
As K.Gozyumov stated in his interview, he is not going to retire any time soon. He aims the gold in Rio now.
Ossetians got 9 medals in London. More than the vast majority of the big countries participated in the Olympics. This is an outstanding achievement of the Ossetian sport. It will encourage our youth to spend more time in gyms and on football fields, dreaming to become the future Olympic stars.
Great job, Ossetians!
We are very proud of you.