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Alexander Popov (swimmer)

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Nationality  Russia
Olympic Games  4
Weight  87 kg
Club  Dynamo Moscow
Height  1.97 m

Strokes  Freestyle, Backstroke
Role  Olympic swimmer
Sport  Swimming
Name  Alexander Popov
Spouse  Darya Popova (m. 1997)
Alexander Popov (swimmer) aleksandr popov La Voce Vivace
Full name  Alexander Vladimirovich Popov
Born  16 November 1971 (age 44) (1971-11-16) Lesnoy, Sverdlovsk, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Children  Vladimir Popov, Mia Popova, Anton Popov
Olympic medals  Swimming at the 2000 Summer Olympics – Men's 100 metre freestyle
Similar People  Pieter van den Hoogenband, Gary Hall - Jr, Michael Klim, Ian Thorpe, Denis Pankratov

Alexander popov 100m freestyle olympics 1996 atlanta

Aleksandr Vladimirovich Popov (Russian: Александр Владимирович Попов, born 16 November 1971), better known as Alexander Popov, is a Russian former swimmer. Widely considered the greatest sprint swimmer in history, Popov won gold in the 50-metre and 100 m freestyle at the 1992 Olympics and repeated the feat at the 1996 Olympics, and is the only male in Olympic games history to defend both titles. He held the world record in the 50 m for eight years, and the 100 m for six. In 2003, aged 31, he won 50 m and 100 m gold at the 2003 World Championships.


Alexander Popov (swimmer) 2004 Athens Olympic Summer Games Sports MAGICPBK

Alexander popov swimming technique


Alexander Popov (swimmer) Alexander Popov Photos Olympics Day 4 Swimming Zimbio

Popov began swimming at age 8 at the Children and Youth Sports School of Fakel Sports Complex in Lesnoy, at that time afraid of water. However, his father insisted on him taking swimming lessons in that sports school, and in his own words, he has "been stuck there ever since". Popov started out as a backstroker but switched to freestyle when he joined Gennadi Touretski's squad in 1990 on the initiative by the Head Coach of the USSR National Team Gleb Petrov. He later moved from Russia to Australia to be with his coach.

Alexander Popov (swimmer) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommons88

Popov won the men's 50 m and 100 m freestyle in the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, and repeated his victories in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, becoming the first man to do so since Johnny Weissmuller. He presented Touretski with his 1996 Olympic gold medal from the 100 m freestyle. "I have a title and I'm on the paper, but, you know, Gennadi hasn't gotten anything from Atlanta or from Barcelona," Popov said. "But I know how much this particular medal means for him, is worth for him."

Alexander Popov (swimmer) Alexander Popov Photos Olympics Day 4 Swimming Zimbio

One month after the Atlanta Olympics, he was stabbed in the abdomen with a knife during a dispute with three Moscow street vendors. The knife sliced his artery, grazed one of his kidneys and damaged the pleura, the membrane that encases the lungs. He had emergency surgery and spent three months in rehabilitation. At the 1997 European Championships in Seville, Spain, he successfully defended his 50 m and 100 m freestyle titles.

In the 2003 Barcelona World Championships, Popov once again made a clean sweep of the men's 50 m and 100 m freestyle events, citing that Barcelona would always be special to him, for it was there that for him, everything first began.

He announced his participation in the 2004 Athens Olympics. Moreover, he was the Flagbearer of Russia in the opening ceremony. However, being the oldest competitor at the pool, the gold medal eluded him, and he did not even manage to make it into the finals of both the men's 50 m and 100 m freestyle events.

He announced his retirement from the sport in January 2005.

Post swimming

Popov was elected a full member of the International Olympic Committee in December 1999. He also represents the athletes on the IOC Sport for All Commission and was elected directly as one of seven athletes to the IOC Athletes' Commission by the athletes participating in the 1996 Olympics. He was re-elected to the Athletes Commission at the 2000 Games and is now Honorary Secretary. He was awarded the 1996 Russian Medal of Honour for contributions to sport. He was also named Russian Athlete of the Year and European Sports Press Union Athlete of the Year in 1996.

In June 2003, he confirmed that he was permanently leaving Australia in early 2004 to live in Solothurn, Switzerland. He said the move followed the offer of a business proposition in Switzerland, once he had retired from swimming. He retained Touretski as a long-distance coach.

Popov earned both a bachelor's and a master's degree in sports coaching from the Russian Academy.

He is a spokesman for Omega SA alongside other swimmers such as Ian Thorpe.

He appeared at the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics after being elected a member of the IOC, presenting flowers to volunteers. He was named to the Evaluation Commission for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

In 2009 he served as chairman of the RC Lokomotiv Moscow rugby league club.

Since May 2009 he has been a member of the supervisory board of Adidas.

Personal life

In early 1997 he married Darya Shmeleva, a Russian Olympic swimmer whom he had dated since 1995. They have two sons, Vladimir (born 1997) and Anton (b. 2000), and a daughter, Mia (b. 22 December 2010).

Popov is a friend of wrestler Aleksandr Karelin.

Honors and awards

  • Order of Merit for the Fatherland, 3rd class
  • Order of Friendship
  • Honoured Master of Sports
  • References

    Alexander Popov (swimmer) Wikipedia