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Sergei Ustyugov showed an enchanting finish in the relay at the Beijing Olympics

Russia ( - Not so long ago, fans and sports associates called Sergei Ustyugov, a skier from the Yugra village of Mezhdurechensky, "Losenok". Either because he was young, pretty, or because of his tall stature and long legs. It's not the point anymore. After a beautiful finish with the ROC flag at the current Olympics in Beijing, Losenok (he ran fourth in the 4 × 10 km relay as part of the Russian team) was definitely reborn into Los. Or maybe, upon arrival in his small homeland, he will come up with a new playful name, especially now Sergey wears a beard and seems much older than his 29 years. So who is he, a champion from the northern hinterland?

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Ustyugov came to skiing from biathlon. The coaches advised: "And you try." True, the parents were not happy: "Let him study, he is gaining his mind, otherwise he is too eccentric." But the sport won.

A big breakthrough from Sergey was expected at the Sochi Games in 2014, and even at his signature distance - in the sprint. Then he sadly failed, stumbled over his rivals at the very finish line. The World Ski Championships in 2017 brought Ustyugov five medals at once - three silvers and two golds. The Olympic Games in South Korea loomed ahead, but the skier was not taken to Pyeongchang. This is the real drama. On the page of the sports star on Instagram, fans write like this: “A movie should be made about Losenk. It deserves its own movie!”.

Injuries, the pandemic, the coronavirus, the struggle with your own demons - how hard the years on the eve of Beijing were for Sergei. On February 8, there was a sprint, where everyone expected from the Ugra player at least leadership in the top three. Did not happen. He was not sure about the inclusion in the relay: his roommate Artem Maltsev deserves it.

Catching up with his relay “top ten” after Chervotkin, Bolshunov and Spitsov, Sergey was thinking about Maltsev, about castling, about accidents ... After the pedestal and laudatory odes, he was embarrassed: it seemed like it was uncomfortable for the victory. Coaches say that this is the whole maturing Ustyugov: he doesn’t care about himself, therefore at some points he sags, makes mistakes.

What will happen after Beijing, Sergei has not yet figured out. Perhaps he will leave the sport altogether, build a house in Mezhdurechensk. The once naughty boy is now very attached to his own family, especially in the spring his wife Elena will give birth to a second baby - you need to help. “If I am asked to choose, then my relatives, of course, are more expensive,” says the champion. “I will stay with them.”

Sergei Ustyugov showed an enchanting finish in the relay at the Beijing Olympics