An elite arm wrestler, Russian powerhouse Alexey Voevoda brought his strength to bear when he teamed up with Alexander Zubkov to win two Olympic bobsleigh titles in Sochi, the city where he grew up.
A global arm wrestling legend
Alexey Voevoda stands 1.94m tall, weighs 115kg and has 52cm biceps, 48cm forearms and a 23cm fist, just the kind of measurements you need to become a legend of world arm wrestling. A winner of three world titles and a host of other competitions in the sport, the imposing Voevoda explained the secret behind his success: “I grew up in the mountains and I spent my time climbing trees with my friends. I was the fastest of all those little climbing monkeys and that’s how I got so strong.”
A perfect partnership
In 2002 Voevoda turned his hand to bobsleigh, using his considerable power, intensity and agility to become a pusher/brakeman at the highest level, and eventually teaming up with Russia’s leading driver Alexander Zubkov. The two began to show what they could do in both two-and four-man events during the 2005 FIBT World Cup. The following February, Zubkov and Voevoda joined up with Filipp Yegorov and Alexei Seliverstov to win Russia’s first ever Olympic bobsleigh medal at Turin 2006, as the quartet finished 0.13 seconds behind Germany’s Andre Lange and his crew. After winning a series of World Cup crowns, Zubkov and Voevoda took bronze in the two-man at Vancouver 2010 and secured a historic world title in Königsee (GER) a year later.
Son of Sochi
Voevoda’s Olympic story actually began on 4 July 2007 in Guatemala City, when the IOC’s members awarded Sochi the right to host the XXII Olympic Winter Games. Having lived for most of his life in the city on the Black Sea coast, he was appointed as an ambassador for the Games by the Local Organising Committee. Taking his job very seriously, he became closely involved in the construction of the Sanki Sliding Centre, gave talks to children at schools, and took part in all the official events held in the countdown to the Games. Discussing his role, the vegan athlete said: “My job as an ambassador is to promote sport and encourage people to adopt a healthy lifestyle.”
A historic double
When Sochi 2014 finally came around, Zubkov and Voevoda paired up once more in Russia 1 in the two-man event and won Olympic gold, dominating all four legs and breaking two track records on a course they knew to perfection. A few days later, just a matter of hours before the closing ceremony, the duo did it again when they joined forces with Dmitry Trunenkov and Alexey Negodaylo to claim the Olympic four-man title.