Valeriy Goncharov interview

In 2004, Valeriy Goncharov became Ukraine’s second-ever male gymnast to earn Olympic gold, capturing the top spot on parallel bars in Athens. …

Just 15 when the Soviet Union crumbled, Goncharov represented Ukraine at three Olympic Games (2000-08), winning seven Olympic, World and World Cup medals in a senior career that began at the 1997 World Championships and spanned more than a decade. …

Oklahoma assistant coach Valeriy Goncharov:

One day (Rustam Sharipov) called me and said, ‘Listen, there is an open position in Oklahoma, and I think it’s a really good opportunity. It’s one of the best places I’ve worked. I’m going to text you a phone number and you should call Mark (Williams) right away.’ …

You still have a large contingent of family and friends in Ukraine, how difficult has that been this past year?

Every day it’s like half of me is here, and half of me is there, worrying about all the people I know, I care about. Nothing has really changed since the beginning, and things don’t seem to be getting better, unfortunately.

I’ve had the same routine every day for a year now. I wake up, call my friends, call my family, to know what’s going on. It is very difficult. …

Do you have any thoughts about the IOC saying it could be possible for Russian and Belarussian athletes could compete in the 2024 Olympics under a neutral flag?

You know, a recent case I just saw, Ukrainian and Russian soccer teams met by accident in Turkey, and it was a huge fight. A physical fight. Just because they saw each other in a hotel.

I think it’s difficult to imagine, in the situation we are in now, how we could compete together. How we could share the Olympic dream. I don’t know, maybe it could happen, but right now I have a lot of doubts. …


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Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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