The first guy synchronised swimming: what is it like to be the only in women’s sports


Первый парень синхронного плавания: каково быть единственным в женском спорте Alexander Maltsev — master of sports, two-time world champion and the only man to represent Russia in synchronized swimming. He admits that for many years put up with negativity from teammates.
Первый парень синхронного плавания: каково быть единственным в женском спорте

Sexism is a hackneyed problem hard struggle of almost all the Western stars. Actresses need to increase their fees to the level of wages of artists-men. The singer released these hymns feminism is about equality, and the most daring ladies dominating that previously just could not be theirs — a policy.

However, it is unlikely that all these activists realize that sexism, like a coin, has two sides. But from St. Petersburg Alexander Maltsev knows this firsthand. No joke, since adolescence, he literally had to get a place in the pool near the girls. Then another young athlete didn’t realize why at him askance glance from the side.

Seven-year Sasha in synchronized swimming have given the mother is the daughter of a friend was in the same pool, and the parent of a future champion painfully liked graceful sport.

“When I was ten, everything was fine. In this age we see the same differences between girls and boys. I was the soul of the company. And then felt exclusively white crow,” — says Maltsev.
Первый парень синхронного плавания: каково быть единственным в женском спорте

In the mid-2000s, it seemed that the world of synchronized swimming is about to change. Still in 1998, the American mixed Duo took second place in the tournament, “the goodwill Games”. Boys trained reserve, in the expectation that restrictions on the floor finally disappear into this previously purely female sport.

However, the long-awaited changes and remains in the plans — the number of boys in the section was reduced, and only hard Sasha Maltsev refused to give up. When the athlete has turned 14, he clearly decided — will be a champion! Inspiration for boys became a French synchronized swimmer Virginia Didier.

“She’s a born soloist. I wanted to achieve the same level of skill, technique, artistic experience” — shares his memories of Alexander.
Первый парень синхронного плавания: каково быть единственным в женском спорте

Then Maltsev were not even aware that one day he will get acquainted with the idol of his youth. In 2018 they will meet in Paris even do an impromptu duet room.

However, to the cherished dream was very thorny path, often littered with universal disdain.

Girls involved in the section synchronized swimming, refused to communicate with Maltsev. Indifference to the interpreter showed the coaches and judges. Soon, creating a problem for the athlete, began to understate, but would not allow him to compete.

“Subsequently, I didn’t qualify for the national team, I started understate on the selections. It was annoying more than anything. I didn’t have to take place, and to estimate, to understand, grow me or not, to see the objective picture. Most of the trainers pretended that it doesn’t concern them. Everything would have been easier if I left. They didn’t want to change something for the sake of one athlete,” — says Maltsev.
Первый парень синхронного плавания: каково быть единственным в женском спорте

It would seem, lay down your arms, give up and pick a more manly sport, but no, Alexander was resolute. He had not given up the dream despite the fact that the standards for men in synchronized swimming and are not prepared, and he could not even give a Candidate master of sports. All because of the notorious separation by gender.

With age, Alexander was not like his team colleagues, and to qualify for participation in major competitions, he could not. However, the coaches saw that he was burning from within synchronized swimming, so he moved from St. Petersburg to Moscow Maltsev allowed to train on the basis of Olga Curely.

“I was expelled from school for “Screen”, because they did not receive CCM. But I could not get it — standards was not the same. In fact, I was on the street. Kugele asked him to give me a chance,” says Alexander.
Первый парень синхронного плавания: каково быть единственным в женском спорте

Knowing that his prospects in the sport tend to zero, Maltsev began to consider the option of coaching. He helped to prepare novices while performing increasingly complex pirouettes in the water.

And here come 2015. Like thunder from a clear sky came the decision of the International swimming Federation to include in the programme of the upcoming world Championships in Kazan interpreters-men.

Then the world of synchronized swimming is literally crazy. The Minister of sports Vitaly Mutko spoke out sharply against such decision. Supported the politician and four-time Olympic champion Anastasia Ermakova. More severe of akusala, perhaps, the swimmer Evgeny Korotyshkin. He jokingly said that he will definitely cry when I see sticking out of the water male hairy legs.

But for Alexander the innovations began long-awaited opportunity to prove himself. Perhaps the main chance in life swimmer missed: after a few months together with your partner, he won first place at the world Cup, instantly went into the story.

Now life Maltseva consists entirely of training. Sometimes he forgot that outside the base and pool there is another life.

Первый парень синхронного плавания: каково быть единственным в женском спорте“We have no such that someone was going to have dinner together. Maybe others have two or even one short session per day, something and time. We Duo a little bit tired from each other, so spend time every man for himself”, — shared his thoughts athlete.

Despite the disdain of colleagues in the past, Maltsev still have every day to overcome new obstacles. Over the last couple of years, he was replaced by three partners, hoping to achieve unity and understanding. In addition, the lack of well-developed standards for mixed couples makes the swimmer work of certain complexity.

And, of course, can not escape from critics. Sometimes, Alexander does not believe, even the closest people. So, the coach of the athlete Maria Nikolaeva can not get used to the fact that her team has a man.

“All ready with the boys to work. Categorically-minded there. I’m still a little hesitant for me or against. We still afraid that boys feet are not so beautiful to look like women,” — says Nikolaev.

There the Alexander is clearly not going to stop. Becoming world Champion and Europe, he has opened new horizons for dozens and hundreds of talented swimmer-men. Well, he sees another cherished goal, after all, and Olympic medals in synchronized swimming ever should go to the man.

Article based on materials of the portal “my Friend, Yes you are a transformer.”