Ukraine Swimmer Andriy Govorov: “I’m Not a Soldier, I Don’t Know How to Fight”

World Record holding Ukrainian swimmer Andriy Govorov spoke to SwimSwam’s Coleman Hodges on Friday morning from Germany, where he is based.

Govorov represents Ukraine in international competition, but as one foot in each bucket of the ongoing Russian attack of Ukraine: he is of joint Russian-Ukrainian heritage, has family in both countries, and was raised in Russia.

Govorov specifically is a native of Crimea, the region that has been occupied by Russia since 2014, a predecessor event to the one that is happening now. At the time of that event, Govorov said he would not consider representing Russia internationally in competition, and that he was warned not to visit his home region as he could face harassment.

Govorov says that his family on both sides of the border are united: they want peace.

Govorov also discusses FINA hosting four major events, including the World Junior Championships and World Short Course Championships, in Russia later this year. FINA on Friday morning said they were “deeply concerned” about the situation in Ukraine, but stopped short of committing to changes to the international calendar, even as other major sport governing bodies have done so.

He was planning to travel to Ukraine for 10 days to compete in the country’s national championships and World Championships selection meet, but that event has been canceled.

Watch the interview with Govorov below:

The 29-year old Govorov broke the World Record in the 50 long course meters butterfly in July 2018.

Govorov is a 5-time World Champion, 1-time World University Games Champion, and two-time Youth Olympic Games champion, with all of his major international medals coming in the 50 fly or 50 free. He won bronze at the World Championships in 2017 in the 50 fly as well.

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Timetwister3000
11 months ago

He should represent refugee team, not Russia if they take over

Tightpants
11 months ago

Russia not the bad one here. Most Americans think so but are brainwashed. Ukraine is a place of no freedom. Remember America – You have always ally and never fought against Russia.

ACC
Reply to  Tightpants
11 months ago

The comments of SwimSwam are a weird place for Russian propaganda, especially low-effort stuff like this.

Pvdh
Reply to  ACC
11 months ago

Bro doesn’t even sound like he believes what he’s saying 😂

Walter
Reply to  Tightpants
11 months ago

Your pants are too tight.

james
Reply to  Tightpants
11 months ago

omg. delete your account!

Swimmerfromjapananduk
Reply to  Tightpants
11 months ago

It’s okay to have an opinion, no matter how questionable it may be from a more western perspective, but try and think whether it’s appropriate to actually comment it beforehand

Virtus
Reply to  Tightpants
11 months ago

So the intelligence of every country other than Russia and Belarus is wrong 💀 how do u seriously believe that

Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
11 months ago

Thanks for this one. I knew he’d have a lot of insight.

Stewart 100 back gold in Fukuoka
11 months ago

He got some points.
I always think Russian athletes should only compete under FINA or IOC flag as individuals, not RSF or ROC. There shouldn’t be any team concept among them. No team officials sent. No head coaches. No team events such as relays. No uniforms.

Last edited 11 months ago by Stewart 100 back gold in Fukuoka
PowerPlay
Reply to  Stewart 100 back gold in Fukuoka
11 months ago

No Russian swimmers (or other Russian athletes) should be allowed to compete at all. Anything less has no effect on building internal pressure for regime change in Russia.

Stan Jones
Reply to  PowerPlay
11 months ago

Amazing move to punish those not in fault. Let punish drug dealers’ families to “build internal pressure”.

B1G Daddy
Reply to  Stan Jones
11 months ago

Like that’s ever happened.

Towelie
Reply to  PowerPlay
11 months ago

if you think barring Russian athletes from competing in international events is going to build internal pressure for regime change then I have some oceanfront property in Nebraska to sell you

Last edited 11 months ago by Towelie
tea rex
Reply to  Stewart 100 back gold in Fukuoka
11 months ago

Russia is “suspended”, which apparently means they get to compete even if Valieva tests positive for PED at the Olympics. Seems like only the most corrupt, spineless bureaucrats are eligible for FINA/IOC roles.

Rap
Reply to  Stewart 100 back gold in Fukuoka
11 months ago

Never understood how they could do a relay as ‘ROC’… beyond pathetic.

Big Mac #1
11 months ago

Chilling

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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