2010 was special for the 25-year-old Ivan Goncharov. He participated in his first Olympics, overcoming a severe trauma. And besides, Ivan Goncharov made an offer to his girlfriend.
Since childhood, I have been mobile, whatever I was doing: playing football, ping pong and rugby, swimming in the pool. Pretty quickly achieved good results ... and completely lost interest in this sport. Although they even took me to a sports school.
When I first went down the ice gutter, I experienced a storm of strong emotions and, above all, incredible happiness. I screamed like crazy! This has never happened to me before. So I realized that the sled is my life and my destiny. And I chose sledding, although according to my physical data I was not very fit - I have a small weight and I had to put on a weight jumpsuit to develop good speed. The paradox was that, passing the track flawlessly, I came to the finish line with the same result as a heavier opponent, who, however, made mistakes during the descent ...
At the beginning of 2003, at the Russian Championship, my partner and I took third place. This season ended with another championship of Russia - in Krasnoyarsk. We had every chance to win - because before that we played very well.
I must say that there is a wooden track, its workers lay manually, mixing water with snow. Then they level it so that there are no bumps, which are mortally dangerous for sleigh riders, developing tremendous speeds. After all, the slightest roughness - and that’s all, you can fly off the track ...
On the first run, we drove the top of the track not very well, so the speed was low. But at the last - the longest - turn, which you had to fit into, walking along the left edge, we unexpectedly fight against the side, going to the finish line, and we are carried deep into the turn. So we fell the first time. Moreover, it was not very clear what happened - we made no mistakes. Then, after analyzing what had happened, we concluded: our error was not there, just the ice was uneven.
In the second race, the same thing happened, only the upper part of the route we went brilliantly - we had a speed of 110-120 km / h. When it is so high, sleds fly over the track, almost without touching the gutter. They obey the slightest movement of the head: turn it to the right - the sled went to the right. They again hit the side, but at a much greater speed than the first race. My partner fell, breaking through a sledge with a visor, and I somersaulted on the highway for some time ...
I came to my senses when I was still on the track. I remember being taken to the hospital. He turned off only on the operating table when they put a mask on me. As a result of this fall, my leg was amputated, doctors recorded numerous fractures of the pelvic bones, internal organs — the bladder, rectum, were torn ... Doctors said later that I could die at any time. I was then 17 years old. Thus began my struggle for life.
I don’t know how to describe my condition then, probably, there were moments of weakness, but I don’t remember them. Apparently, this is how our memory works - selectively. I only remember that I had to fight. I knew that I could not give up, I was brutally wanted to live, even if my injuries were incompatible with life, I still tried to survive. Then, a few years later, I met a doctor from the Krasnoyarsk hospital, he collected me piece by piece, he was incredibly surprised: “Goncharov, are you? I did not expect to see you alive. ”
After the operation in Krasnoyarsk, I was immediately sent to a Moscow hospital. I kept a temperature of 40, did not subside. Doctors only made a helpless gesture, were afraid to touch me, consultations held, consulted: what to do, how to treat.
The proctologist Victor An saved me, he had a fight with the hospital management, took me to his department and started treating me. Only after that did my temperature drop and a long, stretched over years recovery began. We still communicate with him. He recently asked me to go to his patient, he built Moscow City, fell from a great height, received multiple fractures, including the spine ... Like, support him morally, explain that life does not end there. I went to his ward, we talked. After that, he at least began to smile.
I spent a year without moving in the hospital - after all, the bones of the pelvis were broken. Doctors forbade me to move. They themselves later admitted to me that they did not know where to start, I had so many problems. Then they put a frame in the bones of the pelvis and allowed to lift. I slowly got up on crutches and began to learn to walk.
Over the next three years, my life from morning till night consisted of endless procedures ... Droppers, injections - I had no living place, the doctors had nowhere to inject the medicine.
All these four years I have not spent a single day alone - my family has always been with me - my brothers and elder sister.
From the very first day of my hospital epic, I wanted to continue to play sports. I still did not know if we have sports for people with disabilities in our country. Doctors, coming to me, asked what I would do after I left the hospital. They persuaded me to go to the medical one, because so many different procedures had already been tested on themselves. And I stubbornly repeated to them: "I want to return to sports." They answered me in response: “Van, why are you and I suffering now? And you still there, maybe you don’t need all these procedures, treatment? ” But at that moment I did not even know what kind of sport I would do. I thought maybe after the hospital I should do football.
Now, when I’m in the hospital, the same doctors tell me that, well done, Vanya, we are very proud of you. In general, I entered and am now studying at the Moscow State Academy of Physical Culture.
The day I was discharged from the hospital, I arrived home. Then friends called, they say, come on, come out, let's go play football.
And we went. First, they stretched out in the yard, then went to the field. I played like that - on crutches. At the first moment, the guys were afraid to touch me, guarded me - I’m on crutches, they will suddenly hurt me or I will fall. But then they got used to me playing on equal terms with them, and stopped paying attention to it, started pushing with me for real, wiping off the ball, and pruning.
In June 2006, through the Luge Federation, I was found by the coach of the Russian Paralympic national track and field team Irina Gromova. She called and asked if I want to do athletics. Sure! The next day I was at the first training in Luzhniki. I had no problems adapting with the other guys, I ended up in a family. They taught me how to handle, assemble, disassemble the stroller. Irina Alexandrovna put me the technique. Although it was physically difficult, I was not immediately able to drive a wheelchair around the stadium. 400 meters - it reduces muscles. And then he slowly trained and was able to drive a circle, then two, three. So I started running in wheelchairs. We call them fireballs: in front - one wheel, and behind - two large. Hoops are on them, we push them with our hands and so move forward. Hands replace our legs. Now I can run a marathon - 42 km. In winter, we in the Moscow team are engaged in cross-country skiing and biathlon.
For the first time, Rita and I (Margarita Koptilova, bronze medalist of the Paralympic Games in Beijing) saw each other in 2007 at the Russian Championship. She is a member of the Russian Paralympic Athletics Team. A year later, in Adler, we saw each other again. I remember, then I thought, looking at her: "What a lovely girl." We met, in the evenings we walked along the alleys, talked, laughed ... But then I met another girl. And honestly said this to Margarita. I did not promise her anything then. She, of course, was offended. But even at that moment I knew for sure that I loved her. We went home: I went to Moscow, she went to the city of Volsk. Six months later, I broke up with my girlfriend, but Rita did not write about it. Another six months passed, and we met again at the competition. I decided to tell her about my feelings. In general, I started a stupid conversation, because I did not know where to start. I noticed that at such moments you start talking some nonsense. But then I still told her: "I love you and I can’t live without you." She was silent for a moment, then hugged me and kissed me. Then we met for a year at the training camp. And after the Olympics in Beijing, at which Rita won two bronze medals, she was able to buy an apartment in the suburbs. While there was a repair, she lived at my place. Now I realized that I really want Rita to become my wife. She is my destiny. I can definitely say that if this injury had not happened to me, Rita and I would definitely never have met.
I was happy to be in the Paralympic team. I did not win these Games, my goal is to participate in the Sochi Olympics. And the victory.
PHOTO: FROM THE ARCHIVE OF IVAN GONCHAROV