Alexey Voyevoda – armwrestler and bodsledder
Alexey Voyevoda is a Russian bobsledder and a professional arm wrestler, Honored Master of Sports in armwrestling (2004) and Bobsleigh (2006). Also he is a candidate for master of sports in judo. By the way, Alexey is a vegetarian.
Voyevoda won silver in the four-man bobsleigh event with Filipp Egorov, Alexei Seliverstov, and Alexandre Zoubkov at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. Later he won a bronze medal in the two-man event at the 2008 FIBT World Championships in Altenberg, Germany. At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Voyevoda won a bronze medal in the two-man event and became World Champion in 2011 in the two-man event.
The boy was born on May 9, 1980 in Sochi. At the age of 6 Alexey was engaged in karate. In his childhood Voyevoda spent summer holidays in the Ukraine in the village Kalinovitsa at grandpa’s house. There he helped on the farm.
Voyevoda graduated from the Sochi State University of Tourism and Recreation. His dream was to enter the Higher Police School in Rostov-on-Don (it was one of the most prestigious universities), but … he didn’t pass Physical Education exam.
He worked for a security firm and was a cash collector.
The first glory Alexey gained as a professional armwrestler. To tell the truth, he became professional by accident. The boy learned that there was a competition The Iron Hand of Sochi. The friends gave him money for an entrance fee, so it was impossible to refuse. At the competition, Voyevoda made a sensation. He defeated all rivals, including European champion Kote Razmadze. Kote was so impressed with the talent of the young man that he became the first professional coach in Alexey’s life.
So Alexey became the world champion in arm wrestling, then repeated this achievement twice, and became a three-time winner of the World Cup (Nemiroff) among professionals.
Due to the fact that the athlete had fulfilled all the necessary criteria for obtaining the title of Honored Master of Sports in arm-wrestling for a little more than a year, there was a curious precedent. The fact is that according to the rules this title is awarded only after 5 years of training. Nevertheless, Alexey became Honored Master of Sports.
Russian sportsman defeated legendary arm-wrestler John Brzenk and this victory was immortalized in the documentary Pulling John directed by Sevan Matossian.
Then Voyevoda became interested in bobsleigh. In 2003, the athlete had difficulties because of the injury. For two years he retired from the bobsleigh and dedicated them to arm wrestling. He continued to win all kinds of prizes. After the operation and full recovery, the sportsman returned to the bobsleigh. In 2006 at the Olympic Games in Turin he became a silver medalist and in 2010 in Vancouver he won the bronze medal. Besides, in the same year, Alexey was awarded the Medal of the Order For Services to the Fatherland for his great achievements in the field of physical culture and sports.
In November 2010, Voyevoda was awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of Sochi.
Initially Voyevoda did not plan to participate at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but a month before the start, he accepted the invitation of the coaches. To compete at the Olympic Games in a native country, native town is really a dream for any athlete. At the Olympics Alexey won two gold medals. For this victory he received one more Order For Services to the Fatherland. After Olympics the sportsman announced his retirement.
In 2016 he became a deputy of the State Duma from the party United Russia.
The sportsman is a vegetarian and argues that giving up meat helped him improve athletic skills and well-being.