Russian Head Coach Chepik: We Cannot Stop Training for the Olympics

Russian swimming head coach Sergey Chepik has reiterated that most of Russia‘s top swimmers will continue to train for the Olympics after news broke earlier this week that their Olympic Trials would be postponed indefinitely due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Thus, Russia‘s best will train together at a pool in Volgograd, a city located in the southwestern region of the country. Two contingents of Russia‘s national team were set to travel for training camps in different countries, one to Turkey and one to Armenia, but those trips have been called off. Now, most of the top swimmers are together with Chepik in Volgograd.

“We cannot stop the training of athletes and must work before the Olympic Games, using any opportunities,” Chepik said in an interview posted on Russia’s Olympic committee website.

“In addition, no one gave any instructions on the suspension of training events, but we need to train. The methodology is structured in such a way that we cannot skip or force any stage of preparation. Everything is going on sequentially, one training cycle after another. Moreover, if one of them failed, then you can no longer move on to the next. Therefore, we try to save all this, to keep the shape of the athletes.”

Chepik said that training will go on in two shifts, and said that there is a ‘guarantee’ right now that the pool in Volgograd will not be quarantined.

Swimmers coming into the country from abroad will have to undergo the two-week isolation period before joining the training camp, Chepik said, noting they have had several people self-isolate so far. When asked about Vladimir Morozov and Yulia Efimova, two of the country’s most well-known swimmers, Chepik said that they were in the United States, where they must ‘take part in two competitions,’ though it’s unclear via the translation if this means they are actually competing or if this means something else entirely. If they were to compete, they’d have to work around the recent USA Swimming mandate banning all sanctioned activity, which would include meets and practices with a USA Swimming club.

Chepik responded to another question about the now-postponed European Championships, which were slotted for May in Budapest, saying they want to continue training as if it were still happening.

He said that athletes must compete after a cyclical training block, and to gauge results and perform at a high level, they will likely hold a time trial in place of Euros.

Chepik does not think that the swimmers’ salaries will be affected, and alluded that the Russian National Cup set for July could serve as a qualifying meet of sorts for the Olympics should they continue as planned.

Aside from all of this, Russia is currently facing a ban from WADA which would bar their athletes from competing under the Russian flag at the 2020 Olympics. They’ve since appealed this ban. Since then, the WADA has requested for a public hearing to decide Russia‘s fate; that request was not granted by CAS, though, as a consensus was not reached on the measure. The CAS won’t hold in-person hearings until at least May of this year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, though they had already said the Russia hearing wouldn’t happen until at least May.

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1 year ago

Way to think of the rest of the world Vlad!!

Reply to  Doconc
1 year ago

But it’s chepik who said they should not stop training

Corn Pop
Reply to  Doconc
1 year ago

They did. A 4000km border with China was shut & other anti Chinese measures (agreed with XI ) were taken very early. The virus spreading to Europe was not thru Russia.

1 year ago

and yet most swimmers in the US can’t train for the foreseeable future..

Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
Reply to  Swimming4silver
1 year ago

“US can’t train so let’s all stop training.”
I wonder whether the world ever cared about the fact that many Asian athletes were unable to train earlier this year. At that time the rest of the world continued training and were totally OK with holding the Olympics on time.

1 year ago

Watch the HBO miniseries “Chernobyl” and you will understand the mindset of this Russian coach. If you pick the right character.

Reply to  Snarky
1 year ago

My grandmother was from the Soviet Union (Russia), she taught me the language, I traveled there several times. The people are wonderful but uninformed. Pravda the National newspaper (translated “Truth”) is full of BS. Sergey probably does not know Star Wars is a movie, Elon Musk makes cars or that Covid-19 is a virus. Forgive him as he knows next to nothing other than how to wear a “speedo”, flip flops and strut the pool deck bare chested with whistle in mouth.

Corn Pop
Reply to  Ladyvoldisser
1 year ago

What is this ignorance & meanness ? This guy has spent half his life as a USSR & half as Russian . He would know the difference between Pravda (1912-91) 91-97 , 97-2020 plus that Pravda.Ru is completely a separate entity.

I don’t know him o f course but he looks urbane , slim & if he can strut shirtless in flip flops in a Russian winter then that’s pretty damn great.

Reply to  Ladyvoldisser
1 year ago

I am Russian, with American citizenship as well (born and raised there, immigrated to the States 11 years ago).
And that is so condescending, ignorant, rude and offensive to say about Russians, Ms. LADYVOLDISSER!!
You REALLY need to read some books about the country, visit it and meet actual Russians to make following judgments.
Please, don’t disinform other people about the subject you are not knowledgeable in and don’t be judgmental and nationalistic. Thank you.

I also really wish your comment would be deleted.

Corn Pop
1 year ago

If there are no outbreaks in the region & the pool is just for the swimmers , then there is not a problem. They can also train in the Volga river in a few months. Coach can.row in the boat singing dirges.

Tourists are the current super spreaders & only the ww2 history buffs go to Stalingrad.

1 year ago

There are plenty of ways to train safety if in a proper controlled environment. Don’t make this a bigger deal than it is

Reply to  Virtus
1 year ago

They’re mostly concerned because Americans aren’t able to train.

Steve Schaffer
1 year ago

I was at the training center on Volgograd for 3 weeks this past summer. It is well equipped to house the extended national team and keep them isolated from the outside world IF they shut down all of their other programming. It has its own Sport Hotel that is part of the building that surrounds the pools – two 50 meter pools, one indoors and one outdoors with a swim in/out passage into the building, and 2 SCM pools one indoors and one outdoors. It’s an ideal set up for this situation.

Reply to  Steve Schaffer
1 year ago

Until one of the maintenance or hotel workers get Covid-19. Use ur brain Sherlock

1 year ago

This is our chance boys! We train anyway, if no one else shows they forfeit and we win all medals

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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