This time I interviewed my close friend Stepa Smagin. We met him when I organized the first Mototerapia in Rostov-on-Don! He impressed me very much with his inner strength and purpose! Stepan sportsman, Paralympic. I hope that his story will inspire you!

Tell me about yourself, what do  you do in this life?
I am honored master of sports of Russia in swimming, 3-time European champion, a multiple champion of Russia in swimming among the visually impaired. I have been doing this sport since 10 years old. Before that I did acrobatic rock-n-roll with my cousin, and we won many competitions.

You said, among the visually impaired? 
Yes, my right eye doesn’t see, left eye has concentrated field of view and  very reduced visual acuity, but it’s  from the birth, so for me this is normal.

How do you understand this phrase “follow your way”?
For all this his concept, but for me personally it means to live for yourself and enjoy what you’re doing. If you’re doing exactly your favorite thing, it  brings you income, not only material but also spiritual.

But in our country (Russia) it is quite hard. For example in America to change 5-6 times place for live – is normal, in Russia people prefer stay in one place, because it’s difficult to move. So to find something more or new not easy…

Stepan Smagin

How and when did you realize that you want to be swimmer?
It came naturally … My dad one day said to me that dancing is not for man, and we went to swimming school)) . Parents told me that it will restore the health. For the first time I walked a fee, and then the coach suggested me  join  the command. Then I entered the school of Olympic reserve, and then trainer took me in the national team.

When you start in a childhood it’s very easy. I only had one problem; I lived far away from the school. At 7:00 am I had to be in a bathing suit in the water, for that I had to get up at 5 in the morning and go to take the bus (sometimes bus even waited for me on station).

Of course, I think that in the beginning of something, before its start to give the result, you have to do a lot, and at first time it could be not easy.

Is it important for you what community thinks about your work?
Paralympic sport is not very developed in Russia and the fact that now people  start  putting attention on it, it is certainly good. And the fact that, I can tell something to people about my life, difficulties due to my illness I and my parents had to face, and if it can help someone in life, and to influence the future life, it’s great.

Stepan Smagin

What  competitions have  you  already participated?  What are you going to take part?
I participated in Paralympic games in London in 2012 I took the 6-7th  places, and I’m going to go to Rio in 2016. And then how will health)) Sport is not a business, you can’t deal do it until 60 years

What you will do when you’ll finish with sport?
Now I get another degree (Faculty: Regional Studies). I don’t know yet.. we’ll see .. Maybe i will be politician)

Do you have idols or landmark in your life or work?
No…. every time people ask me about this…but I really don’t have…. of course I understand that Michael Fred Phelpsis is very very good sportsmen, but he is not my idol))

What feature of your character has helped you to understand and decide to follow your own way?
I don’t know, it helps or hinders me, but I am very stubborn. Sometimes it is necessary to rotate, something  to change, but I continue to insist on my own way.

I also rarely consult with someone about something, sometimes it is a plus and sometimes not.


About what in your life can you be proud of?
I think I have everything ahead. For me there is nothing to be proud of at this moment. While I can only say that my parents are proud of me.

What about you medals and achievements in sport?
I can’t say that I’m proud of  them…

List of your values:
– Be good person,  with open mind, always trying to support justice.
– Family

Tell me about three main goals in your life?
–          Olympic medal
–          My parents are proud of me
–          Be good person. Give benefit to society. Leave their mark.

I believe that in your life you have to put high goals and in different spheres of life! Because if you have only one goal –  when you reach it, apathy begins.


What inspires you?
– Traveling. This is the main source of my inspiration. I love to travel, no matter where. It could be a nearby city or New York …

– Food. I like eat and I like to try different cuisine.

If you would have an inexhaustible source of money, what would you do?
– Traveling
– And I would help people, create different charity projects. But not like when people give some money and scream about it, it will be quiet charity.

Are you successful?
Yes, I believe that I am successful. I have family, I have friends and I have the opportunity to do what I like. I consider myself a lucky man.

Your formula of success?
Let go of the idea. There is such a thing as materialization, and if you give to the space correct message, then all will come true sooner or later!


Photo Dario Bologna @dariolaroid
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