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Iron will: athletes who returned to professional sport after injury

Russia has always been famous for its strong and talented athletes, who, moreover, had extraordinary fortitude. All the stories of outstanding Russian athletes who overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles cannot be enumerated. Therefore, today we will tell only about four athletes: despite the most severe injuries, they were able to return to the big sport and successfully continue their careers. They each have their own path, but they all have one thing in common - iron willpower.

Iron will: athletes who returned to professional sport after injury

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Hockey player Vyacheslav Fetisov

From the very beginning of his sports career, this Soviet hockey player showed unprecedented willpower - he worked at the limit of his capabilities in order to play for the national team in the future. As a result, thanks to the famous five - Vyacheslav Fetisov, Alexey Kasatonov, Sergei Makarov, Vladimir Krutov, Igor Larionov - the USSR national team was confidently in the top three of world hockey leaders and won many international awards. Fetisov himself played in the NHL, won the Stanley Cup.

Iron will: athletes who returned to professional sport after injury

Photo: Vladimir Bezzubov, photo.khl.ru

Vyacheslav Fetisov faced a lot of difficulties. In 1979, he received a serious back injury - the athlete was paralyzed, he could not walk. The doctors' predictions were disappointing. However, the hockey player was able to do the incredible, recovered and returned to the ice. But his trials did not end there.

In 1985, Fetisov got into a car accident. He himself survived the incident, but his younger brother Anatoly died. It was a hard blow to his entire family. Vyacheslav took the tragedy hard, but despite the loss of a loved one, he still returned to the ice. New difficulties were ahead.

Iron will: athletes who returned to professional sport after injury

Photo: Vladimir Bezzubov, photo.khl.ru

In 1997, the hockey player again had an accident, only now two of his teammates were with him. All three were seriously injured. Nevertheless, after all the trials and injuries - physical and mental - the athlete did not quit hockey, did not turn away from his dreams. He returned to the ice and remained true to his kind of calling, no matter what.

Iron will: athletes who returned to professional sport after injury

The gold chain was ripped off, the money disappeared. How Fetisov got into a fight with policemen in Kiev

According to one of the versions, the attack on the captain of the USSR national team was planned in advance.

Figure skater Elena Berezhnaya

С at the beginning of her professional career, Berezhnaya performed in pair skating. Her first partner was Oleg Shlyakhov. It was with him that the skater began to win the first medals, despite the fact that the relationship between the partners was strained. Sometimes Shlyakhov treated a colleague rudely and disrespectfully.

Iron will: athletes who returned to professional sport after injury

Photo: Getty Images

TThe ragedy happened during training in 1996. The partner touched Berezhnaya's head with the blade of a skate: the temporal bone was pierced, and the fragments damaged the lining of the brain. The skater was hospitalized and urgently sent to Riga, where she underwent a serious operation. At first, Berezhnaya could not move or speak at all. The doctors said that she definitely would not be able to return to sports.

Iron will: athletes who returned to professional sport after injury

Photo: Getty Images

The athlete denied pessimistic forecasts. Anton Sikharulidze helped her to recover and start skating again, who then became her new partner. Together, they triumphed at the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002.

Iron will: athletes who returned to professional sport after injury

Elena Berezhnaya: through slavery and hospital to victory

The path to Olympus Elena Berezhnaya went through a partner's bullying, a severe injury and a referee scandal.

Swimmer Alexander Popov

Russian swimmer Alexander Popov rightly can be called a legend. He managed to become a four-time Olympic champion, six-time world champion and multiple European champion. Since childhood Popov was fond of swimming, but his talent was fully revealed after graduation.

Iron will: athletes who returned to professional sport after injury

Photo: Getty Images

In 1991, his career began with high-profile victories at the European Championships in Athens. This was followed by a triumph at the Barcelona Olympics. In 1994, Alexander sets a world record in the 50 m freestyle. And the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta made the Russian athlete a world famous.

But a brilliant swimmer's career was destined to be interrupted. In August 1996, in Moscow, Popov, along with his friend, got involved in a street fight - stood up for the girl. The hooligans were armed, and one of them stabbed the athlete with a knife. The kidney and lung were affected. Fortunately, the swimmer's life was saved. And thanks to the experience and professionalism of the doctor, he was even able to continue his sports career.

Iron will: athletes who returned to professional sport after injury

Photo: Getty Images

The recovery was difficult and lengthy. But thanks to endurance and striving, in the same year, Alexander managed to compete again - to take gold at the Atlanta Olympics. After that, the career of the Russian athlete continued for another 8 years.

Iron will: athletes who returned to professional sport after injury

Was in the wrong place. How the great Popov almost died at the hands of a seller of watermelons

The life of the fastest swimmer in the world was almost cut short by a street fight over girls.

Gymnast Lyaysan Utyasheva

Laysan Utyasheva is an example of real resilience and will to win. Young gymnasts all over Russia know how hard it was for her to return to professional sports after an injury.

During her performance in 2002, Utyasheva landed unsuccessfully after a jump - on both feet. At first, doctors diagnosed a bruise and allowed her to train. But the damage only worsened. The athlete tried to train, overcoming the pain. And when she talked about this to the coaches, she was accused of simulating. Only a few months later, doctors were able to discover the real extent of the injury - numerous fractures of the scaphoid bone on one leg and the separation of the bones on the other.

The gymnast underwent six operations on her legs. The doctors gave disappointing forecasts - after this she would hardly be able to return to the big sport. They said that with an implant in the foot it was possible to walk, only with a severe limp. But such arguments did not stop Utyasheva.

In order not to lose shape, the gymnast tried to swim in the pool every day - at first with a plaster cast on her legs. It I tried stretching and sitting with gymnastic equipment. Thanks to her hard work and perseverance, Utyasheva was able to return to professional sports two years later.

Iron will: athletes who returned to professional sport after injury

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Laysan Utyasheva's career was cut short by a serious injury. Now the famous TV presenter and wife of showman Pavel Volya hardly regrets this.

In 2004, she became the European champion in the team event. Then she won international tournaments in France and Latvia. The gymnast diligently prepared for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. However, in 2006, during training, she was injured again - her knee suffered. The second time, the athlete was less fortunate. The damage was too serious, she was unable to recover and had to leave the sport forever.

Nevertheless, Laysan did not give up - she was able to rebuild and realize herself in the field of show business. The former gymnast became a famous TV presenter, and no injuries could stop her.

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