No. 18: Ukrainian swimmers win 33 world titles

Olga Sviderska and Dmytro Vynohradets won seven gold medals each at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships, contributing to the 33 gold medals the team claimed overall. 14 Dec 2013
No 19 Ukraine

No 19 Ukraine


“Team work and cooperation between all involved persons is very important.”

“I hope that this is not my peak yet, I believe there is so much ahead” says 23-year old swimmer Olga Sviderska of her future potential.

Sviderska was part of the Ukrainian squad that topped the medals table at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal, Canada, in August. The team did not just finish in number one. They cleared closest competitors Russia by 30 medals overall with 33 gold, 22 silver and 13 bronze medals.

Sviderska and teammate Dmytro Vynohradets between them won 14 of those golds, an incredible seven world titles each across all disciplines in the S3 class.

Sviderska also broke three world records in the 200m freestye, 100m freestyle and 150 individual medley, whilst Vynohradets broke the 200m freestyle record.

“There were tasks that I did not fulfil in London 2012, so I hoped to solve them in Montreal and give revenge” Vynohradets said of his Montreal 2013 performance.

Ominously both athletes are confident that they have not yet peaked in their careers, and by the time Rio 2016 comes around they will be even better.

Ukrainian head team coach Gennadii Vdovychenko agrees that his athletes can make their country proud in just under three years time:

“We will do our best to show high results. We want to win and be proud of listening to Ukrainian anthem in Rio. “

So what is their secret? The national team will continue with their talent identification programme which includes more than one avenue of spotting potential future stars according to Vdovychenko:

“We have well developed system of sport and rehabilitation. Swimming is the best mean of rehabilitation so many people come with this purpose first. Later they participate in low level competitions where our national team coaches are looking for new talents and possible candidates for the national team.

“We have a great venue for common training camps in Yevpatoriya, and maintain control over training plans when athletes stay in their home towns.

“Team work and cooperation between all involved persons is very important.”

Ukraine went into Montreal 2013 as world beaters from the 2010 Swimming World Championships in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. They finished London 2012 in third place in the medals table, behind only Australia and China, two big swimming nations who historically field strong teams.

Their dominance as a team cannot be denied, but it is individual athletes such as Sviderska and Vynohradets that will be the key to their success in Rio.

“Trainings, meals, sleep, rarely rest a little and all over again”, is what 28-year old Vynohradets will be doing between now then.

Sviderska meanwhile has some sage advice for young swimmers looking to achieve the same success:

“Persistence, diligence and love to swimming sport - that is extremely important to become professional athlete. “

“But the most important thing is to overcome yourself”.