Alexander Smyshlyaev – Freestyle Mogul Skier
Alexander Smyshlyaev is a Russian Freestyle Mogul Skier, 2014 Winter Olympic bronze medalist, Master of Sports of International Class, multiple World Cup winner, champion of Russia.
Many people don’t know what freestyle and mogul are. In general, freestyle is a discipline, spin-off from skiing, originally included freestyle ski ballet, acrobatics and mogul skiing. Mogul skiing is a type of freestyle skiing where skiers display their tricks, jumps and incredible turning abilities on a mogul slope making “high-quality, aggressive turns while remaining in the fall line.
Mogul isn’t very popular in Russia. However, Russian athletes showed not bad results. At the 1994 Olympics in women’s moguls Elizaveta Kozhevnikova won bronze. But a true legend of the sport was Sergei Schupletsov, who won a silver medal in mogul at the same Olympics in Lillehammer in 1994. Schupletsov became one of the trendsetters in the Moguls, shone in the World Cup, but at the age of 25 he tragically died in a car crash.
After the success in the early 1990s, Russia had no medals in this discipline for 20 years.
Alexander was born on March 3, 1987 in Lysva, Perm Krai. Now he lives in Chusovo, Russian freestyle center. By the way, there was born the best Russian freestyler Sergey Schupletsov.
Winter Olympics in Sochi were the third Smyshlyaev’s attempt to conquer Olympus. In 2006 in Turin he showed the best result in his team. In the next four years Alexander took part in the biggest tournaments. In Vancouver he was a contender for a medal, however Smyshlyaev only a little bit improved his Turin result.
In January 2011, Stephen Fearing, who trained Japanese, South Korean and Canadian Olympic champions and prize-winners, became a new team coach. As a result Alexander showed good results at the World Cup.
In the middle of the Olympic Games he injured his back and hip. Fortunately, Alexander managed to cope with all the troubles. After six months Smyshlyaev returned to the team.
His bronze medal in Sochi became the second result in the history of Russian mogul after Sergei Schupletsov’s silver in 1994.
Smyshlyaev’s wife Olga Lazarenko participated in the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. The couple has a daughter Margarita, who was born in 2011. It was she whom Alexander dedicated his medal. Little Margarita is his talisman. Who knows, maybe in twenty years Margarita Smyshlyaeva will be the first Russian Olympic gold medalist in mogul.