Aram Hakobyan, the legend of Kyrgyz sports, is the first and so far the only winner of the Deaflympics (Olympics among the deaf) in the country. His career is 30 years old. Many in his years give up training or go into the category of “veterans”. But Hakobyan is energetic, young at heart and strong in body. He performs himself, trains young people, leads the federation … He told about himself, his beloved work and talented associates IA «24.kg».
“I was born in 1974 in the city of Frunze. He was a perfectly healthy child. However, at the age of two, he caught the virus and lost his hearing.
At the age of eight, after watching a wrestling tournament, I became interested in sports and asked my older brother to take me to the section. The specialists did not agree to work with a deaf child. My brother still managed to come to an agreement, however, with a judo and sambo coach. I practiced for a while, but then I quit. The craving for Greco-Roman wrestling overpowered.
We came to the mentor Peter Yaloma. My brother explained that I can read lips, and he asked me to show some trick. I appeared in all my glory, fortunately there was a base that I got in judo and sambo. Pyotr Nikolaevich took me under his wing.
Two years later, when I was 15, I won the youth championship of the republic. Later he was the champion of the Kirghiz SSR among adults, won tournaments in the union republics. Became the master of sports of the USSR. Hearing problems did not bother me. On the contrary, they spurred me on. I wanted to prove that I am also something, ”Aram Hakobyan recalls.
Wind of change
“The first years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, I continued my career. He was in excellent shape, applied for a trip to the 1996 Olympic Games. He fought side by side with the legendary Raatbek Sanatbaev. He won the license, but I didn’t succeed.
The time was troubled. I was faced with a choice: to train further, hoping that I can prove myself at the next Olympics, or quit sports. I chose the latter. At 23 he left the professional carpet and went into business.
For six years I did not train, I recovered greatly … Once I learned about the Deaflympics from the Internet. It turned out that they have been held since 1924. But in Kyrgyzstan, there was no information about them. If anyone heard, he confused them with the Paralympics. And these are different things!
In 2008 I resumed training. After studying for six months, I went to the World Deaf Championship in Armenia. On the first attempt he won a bronze award. At that moment I realized what I would devote the rest of my life to, ”says the athlete.
“Having returned from the World Cup, I met with the leadership of the sports movement of the deaf in Kazakhstan, got acquainted with their experience. He studied the charter, adapted it for the Kyrgyz Republic, established a local federation and headed it. Then we joined the International Sports Committee for the Deaf.
In 2009, the Kyrgyz national team went to the Deaflympics for the first time. The team included Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestlers, athletes, ping-pong masters. I went as head of delegation and competitor. The guys performed well, but didn’t make it to the podium. I managed to win the “bronze” and fulfill the standard of the Honored Master of Sports of the Kyrgyz Republic. This is a great honor. In our country, where martial arts are well developed, there are only a few fighters with this title.
Since the end of 2004 I have been working as a physical education teacher at a boarding school for deaf children in the capital. There are over 350 students there. I instill in them a love for futsal, swimming, taekwondo, shooting, judo, wrestling and other sports. I negotiate with my friends and take the children to study at the bases of the Academy of Physical Education, KNU named after Zh.Balasagyn, Sports School named after R. Sanatbayev … For some species the base of our school is enough, ”Aram Hakobyan says.
Small but daring
“At the 2009 Taipei Games, we understood for the first time what a real human relationship to deaf athletes is like. We were so well received! Then there was a curious incident. We walk with the team, look – a volcanic river. And we are just hungry. We bought eggs in the store and dipped them into the water. In five minutes they were cooked. Beauty!
In 2013, the following Games were held in Bulgaria. I again applied for “bronze”. In the decisive bout he fought with a Bulgarian athlete and surpassed him in everything. However, the judges gave the victory to him as the master of the carpet.
Time is running. More and more often I meet opponents much younger than myself at tournaments. Experience is on my side. Struggling with great desire. I have no health problems and I don’t think about ending my sports career. Constantly keep myself in good shape. Every lesson I do exercises with the students, I show all the exercises on myself. And it is useful for them, and for me!
I work at school during the day and go to training in the evening. I am engaged in a wrestling hall in the village of Leninsky with Pyotr Yaloma. He’s like a father to me! I am practicing techniques with a member of the Kyrgyz Olympic team – 26-year-old Murat Ramonov and other athletes. Ramonov is noticeably taller and 30 kg heavier than me. He needs our contractions as much as I do. Sometimes he says, “You are so small. It’s hard to fight with you! “
My sons inspire me for sporting feats. One is eight years old, the second is five. I spend my free time with them. The youngest took over my love of wrestling, ”the athlete rejoices.
Generation of winners
“The 2016 season is going well for our guys. In the spring, Iran hosted the World Cup in Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling. Gabit Aydarbekov and Zakir Turdiev won bronze. Aibek Ryspekov finished sixth. I also participated and took the fifth place. In the fight for third place, he lost to the Iranian. History repeated itself, as in Bulgaria in 2013.
At the end of July, the World Championship in martial arts was held in Turkey. There I, as the head of the Kyrgyz national team, took two athletes and coach Dmitry Ponomarev. Judoka Kanalbek uulu Ilgiz won two silver medals, and taekwondo fighter Azamat Mavlonov won bronze.
The guys who got into the top eight at these championships received certificates for participation in the 2017 Deaflympics. A few more people can win tickets to the remaining qualifiers.
It is necessary for the athletes who have certificates to receive a scholarship from the state so that they can calmly prepare for the start. Most of them work today. Kanalbek uulu Ilgiz trains children, Azamat Mavlonov works in a store, Gabit Aydarbekov is a bodyguard, Zakir Turdiev is a bodybuilding instructor. Kanalbek uulu Ilgiz and Azamat Mavlonov, by the way, followed my example and entered the Academy of Physical Education. They want to become professional trainers, ”says Aram Hakobyan with pride.
Hope to be heard
“I have been invited abroad many times. Some countries are ready to accept in any capacity: even as an athlete, even as a coach. But I’m not going anywhere. Should help the deaf in Kyrgyzstan. I want my students not to feel slighted, to grow up as decent people, to see the world, to show themselves at top-level competitions. One of the most promising – 13-year-old wrestler Smadiyar Zhumakadyrov – won tournaments among ordinary athletes. In 2018, the Youth Deaflympics will be held. I hope he wins there.
Recently, the leadership of the Kyrgyz Society of the Blind and Deaf changed, and opposition began to protest. As a member of society, I believe that issues should be resolved in a civilized manner. Some have suggested that I be appointed deputy head of the society. I’m not against. This will help me to promote sports to the masses even more actively, ”Aram Hakobyan is sure.
“The main thing is to support the authorities. The State Agency for Youth Affairs, Physical Education and Sports is trying, but those who are higher do not seem to notice us. And there are not enough sponsors. They help us one time, but unfortunately they don’t on an ongoing basis. There are no organizations left where we would not be looking for support. Everyone says that they are already assigned to someone.
As a help, the sports school of the Sverdlovsk region allocated wrestling mats to our federation. But there is nowhere to bed them. We do not have our own base and a gym for training. Every time the government changes, we write a letter asking for premises. We hope one day they will hear us. Young children with hearing impairments should be able to realize themselves in life. Sport is ideal for this, ”he concluded.