• “When I took Olga in my arms I understood that every inch of her was shaking”

“When I took Olga in my arms I understood that every inch of her was shaking”

14 February 2013 Sergei Grishin
“When I took Olga in my arms I understood that every inch of her was shaking”

Almost two years ago this couple elated almost the whole SAMBO world. Ivan Morozov participated in the exhibition performance and demonstrated holds from different types of the national combat and SAMBO at the A.A. Kharlampiev Memorial World Cup Stage. When all the performances were c Ivan took a microphone in his hands and his friend brought a slightly confused beautiful girl to the mat. Ivan Morozov asked his beloved girlfriend Olga to marry him and put an engagement ring on her finger in the presence of thousands of viewers, SAMBO fans. And literally 3 days ago on the eve of Saint Valentine’s Day this family expanded, i.e. Ivan and Olga became parents of a baby girl named Katya on 11 February. The FIAS web-page was one of the first to congratulate the happy parents and to arrange questioning of the newly-crowned father.

“Please, Olga, wait for me, don’t deliver the baby!”

– Ivan, please share your feelings with us. What is it like to become a father?

– Feelings are overwhelming me and I believe that only skilled connoisseurs of prose and poetry are able to describe them. Birth of a child, especially when it is a girl, is the most important event in life of any man. Surely, I will have to think about my daughter learning SAMBO but the most important thing is that she was born healthy. Her weight is 3600 kg, her height is 51 cm and in accordance with the health scale she has 10 out of 10. They have not let me in at the labour department yet but we are always in touch with my spouse on the phone. I can’t wait till Friday when she is to be discharged.

– How did you choose your daughter’s name?

– My wife is a committed religious person and we looked through the church calendar before choosing a name. There were a couple of names these days. Olga decided to name the daughter Ekaterina, and I said “I agree”. A man may yield when it comes to such questions.

– When did you find out that you were expecting a girl and not a boy?

– It happened literally on the evening eve of labour. As all the 4 previous times when we did ultrasound investigation, the baby girl was either sleeping with her back facing us or she was sitting, it was impossible to figure out a baby of which gender we were expecting. So, Katya kept us guessing till the final moment.

Ivan and Olga Morozovy

– Did you plan to be present at labour?

– Yes, we planned it and wanted it. These all again depended on my wife. I said, “I am ready either way. We are going to do what you say”. First Olga said, “You will be present”. I answered, “Ok”. Later she changed her mind, “You’d better stay at home. Come if something goes wrong”.

– Isn’t it extremely emotional to stay at home and wait?

– Yes, it was extremely emotional indeed. On the eve I was at the Russian SAMBO Championship among policemen in Bryansk for almost a whole week. And all that week I was calling home and asking: “Olga, please, wait for me, don’t deliver the baby!” I came back home on Saturday morning and on Sunday evening we already left to the hospital for labour. So, I happened to have an emotional week and then an emotional night. And on Monday morning when I started to pass out being tired due to all these events, Olga told me that our baby girl was born. At that moment the desire to sleep vanished as if by magic.

I showed the photo of Olga and said, “This is my future wife”

– Let’s have a little flash back. How did you come up with an idea to make such a romantic proposal?

– Several components lie at the root of this idea. Having started dating we began to live at my place. But she was brought up very well and she felt a little confused of our living together as just a boyfriend and a girlfriend. Then an idea of making her a proposal so that she could become my fiancée started to maturate in me. There were almost no doubts as she has a wonderful upbringing and character, and she is a perfect housewife. She is an ideal girlfriend by all the parameters that interest a man.

Moreover, we had some indicative situations that were sort of a signs for me. For example, it was our going to a famous musical. Just imagine. It’s a great premiere. Olga is wearing a fabulous evening dress and then I appear in sports wear with a bag after the training. I think that a little of women could stand such a contrast. By the way, an overwhelming majority of photographers wanted to take a picture of us in particular but I tried to avoid it. It seemed that Olga had very “special” feelings in that moment next to me. But she took it all with such an ease and humour that I understood that I feel so comfortable with this person.

Then I left on a business trip to Slovenia and we communicated with each other a whole month only though Skype. I met my acquaintances in Slovenia and in answer to their conventional questions about life I showed them a photo of Olga and said: “This is my future wife. When I come back home I am going to propose to her”. Well, if I said these words aloud and plus I said them to myself there could be no doubts any longer. Only one question was left, i.e. it was how to make a proposal.

I returned to Russia in February when the A.A. Kharlampiev Memorial World Cup Stage was coming. No matter what I decided to get ready for this event, to gather up my courage and to take this significant step. Meanwhile Olga did not know anything and she was not even guessing.

– Many people, by the way, were disputing about it…

– Yes, I was also asked by many about it. I just told her, “At the end of the performance you will be brought to the stage. You will need to participate in a sketch and to simply separate us. But as these are exhibition performances, wear a beautiful dress please. For example, a one in a Greek style would be appropriate”. We agreed on this, but Olga was nervous till the last moment. She even panicked. I tried to calm her down saying “You will simply come out and they will show you what to do”.

When the moment came, Olga came out confused. Then I began my speech, all that procession. When I took Olga in my arms I understood that every inch of her was shaking. I carried her back to the changing room, put her on the floor and saw tears and smiles. She was very happy and feelings were overwhelming her. Of course, she would tell you better what she actually felt as that was me who prepared everything and foreknew.

– Was it scary for you to make a proposal in front of such a large number of people?

– Such a long performance was of much help. We did some sketches presenting different types of combat during which I did not think about anything. Everything was learnt, done in autopilot mode though thoughts about the prepared romantic final were especially urging me. When the performance was over, it was time to act. And slightest shade of worry or doubt would hamper my doing what had been planned. That’s why I rid the mind of everything, took a microphone and said things that I planned to say.

“She cannot live without SAMBO any longer”

– Were you dating for a long time by then?

– We were dating about three months. We met through the Internet. Olga found my webpage in social networks. She needed help and support though I still do not know whether it was an excuse or she really needed help. One way or another we met because of this event and it triggered our further communication which lasts until now. I’d like to say that Olga’s brother is a master of sports of international class in freestyle wrestling. It helped us to easily find common ground. Olga has already got used to our perception of life, continuous trainings, get-togethers and competitions.

Ivan and Olga Morozovy

– Which sports is closer to her now, freestyle wrestling or SAMBO?

– When talking about freestyle wrestling she says that she was at the competitions only a couple of times. She has much closer relationship with SAMBO. I always engage her in various events, show her fascinating things and tell her about all the events. Olga fell in love with our sport. Now SAMBO is something dear for her as she cannot live without it anymore.

– Has she already learnt some holds herself?

– Yes, of course. After the honeymoon we went together to the summer get-together. When classes at the mat took place, I taught her holds which later trainer Alexander Yefimovich Kazeev gave her marks for. And it should be mentioned that Olga received high marks. She has no trouble with coordination as she has been doing dancing quite seriously since her childhood. SAMBO turned out to be very pleasant and interesting for her. It captivated Olga indeed.

“There should always be a place for romance in life”

– Does 14 February mean something for your family?

– To be honest with you, it's more just another day in the calendar. There is no such a holiday in Russia as it came to us from the Western culture. Some people anyways lay emphasis on this day. They right itty-bitty notes and present itty-bitty gifts. And, to tell the truth, after studying so many years at school “SAMBO-70” where only men were in the class it was embarrassing to receive a mash note this day. We never celebrated 14 February therefore. Nevertheless, I am very happy that my daughter was born precisely at the beginning of February. If it had been a son he would have had and advantage over the rivals in terms of combat as he would have been born at the beginning of the year.

– Well, you still have time for a boy and to provide him an advantage.

– Recovery of my spouse is the most important thing at the moment. Then we will of course try to accomplish the president’s instruction on improvement of the demographic situation in the country. Ideally I would like to have four or more kids in the family. And their gender does not matter. The most important thing is their being healthy.

– February 11 has become another significant date in your family calendar after your daughter’s birth. What other dates are important for your family?

– Each Christmas, for example, I spend at my mother-in-law’s place. Olga’s mother gathers everyone together at the table and necessarily cooks kutia. Epiphany bathing is a significant date for my wife as well. She used to bathe every year and had to miss this tradition only now, when she was pregnant though she was still pouring cool water over herself. She tries to engage me in too and I believe that I’m already ready for this. Next year I’m going to give it a try.

May with its series of birthdays has also become an important month for us. Disparity in years of Olga and her brother is 4 years but both of them were born the same day, i.e. 3 May. I came into the world on 24 May. Therefore, we have a whole month of celebrations. We celebrate our wedding anniversary in July after which we usually set off on a journey or I take my spouse to training get-togethers with me.

– You made a proposal in a very romantic way. Is there still romance in your relationship after the wedding?

Ivan and Olga Morozovy

– I believe that there should always be a place for romance in life as it is essential for women. I can tell you our last story out of many. I train youngsters in Moscow Educational Centre No. 1496 and Olga used to come there after her work and we went for a walk before going home. Once a teacher of physical education and I took a projector, placed it in the gym and extracted an image from a notebook on the big wall. Column speakers which were placed in the corners of the gym and used during trainings and competitions created a sound effect that reminded us being in a cinema. When Olga came I took her to the coaching room so that she could not see anything beforehand. We laid out soft mats, put some fruit. Then I brought my wife in the gym with her eyes closed and seated her on our improvised couches. We turned on a movie together with the youngsters and watched it all together after the training while turning the gym into a cinema.

“SAMBO wrestlers won’t let you down!”

– By the way, as for the youngsters you train… How popular is SAMBO among young people?

– I can say for sure and absolutely indisputably that SAMBO gains momentum and popularity. Youngsters (both very young and more mature) come to this combat while searching for skills and experience which would help them to become more confident in life and to protect themselves and their nearest and dearest. SAMBO enjoys huge popularity and it’s very-very pleasing. Sportsmen and trainers all together deal with one cause, i.e. development of our sport. And I hope that with joint efforts we will make SAMBO known and loved in every corner of our planet.

– I know that you have certain ideas in this connection…

– Yes, I do. They regard demonstrational SAMBO. Having taken sport and combat SAMBO as a basis I attempt to link together the rules and to develop a more convenient rating scale for this type of SAMBO. In my opinion, such a direction is very important for youngsters who either just began training or have been training with all their heart for a while but cannot perform at large international competitions for some reason. Demonstrational SAMBO will let them translate their ambitions into actions, demonstrate spectacular holds and receive a mark and a prize correspondingly. I believe that this direction is very important one and it shall stay alive.

I make notes in my sports workbook. I’ve spent on them a sufficient amount of time. I’d like to say that it’s not simply a theory. I have already approbated this system on my students; they were pupils of 2-3 forms. I gave them a task to prepare a demonstrational performance based on three holds that they know and watched what they managed to do. I can note that children started to carry out earlier learnt holds in a more beautiful and quality way.

With panache performances to music after some rehearsals the youngsters honed, for example, thigh blocking turn to the extent that it reminded holds made by competitive sportsmen. This peculiarity I noted as one of the basic ideas as children when perfecting holds in such an enthusiastic mood start doing them much better. It may be productive for their further sports development as professionals.

– It could possibly become a new training programme. Well, as we are having a festive interview today I offer you to address our readers.

– You know that there is a stereotype that all the wrestlers are dull and boneheaded. This is radically wrong. Some girls get even scared of the idea living with a sportsman, a wrestler. On my part I can assure you that only dignified people, dignified men are trained and perform in our sports, in SAMBO. And when choosing your better half and creating a family, you should pay particular attention to representatives of our sport. SAMBO wrestlers won’t let you down!

Interviewed by Alexander Solomakhin

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