Shavarsh Karapetyan, one of the most renowned and respected swimming athletes of all times, has a very interesting story to tell. Even though he managed to break 11 world records and win the world championship 17 times, Shavarsh himself would definitely tell you that his greatest success wasn’t even remotely near a pool! Let us tell you how Shavarsh Karapetyan became a national hero and how his swimming abilities served him when he really needed them! Don’t miss #14 & #12!
20. A NATIONAL HERO
Sharvarsh Karapetyan is considered one of the most influential and talented athletes of his generation but even if he wasn’t such an successful athlete, he would be just as inspiring as he is today. The reason? When times were tough, Shavarash immediately took action! What did he do?
19. AN ARMENIAN SWIMMER
Shavarsh is from Armenia. He was born in the country in 1953, when Armenia was still a part of the Soviet Union. He didn’t discover his unique talent in swimming, until a family friend commented that Shavarsh’s body type would be ideal for it! Is he really that successful though?
18. A STAR
Soon Shavarsh found himself in the pool, training day and night to complete in the big games. The soviet Union National Team noticed him and immediately took him under its wing where he proved that he was the right choice for the team. He managed to brake 11 world records and won the world championship 17 times! But what does this has to do with him being a hero? Click next to find out
Shavarsh competed in finswimming! Finswimming is a specialized swimming event where athletes swim almost under the surface of the pool with the help of a snorkel and a large flipper that makes them look like mermaid-athletes!
16. AFTER HIS PEAK
As it is expected Shavarsh career started to dwindle down as he was getting older. The peak of his career was between 1965-1975 but after 1976 things started to look tough for Shavarsh. He was failing to qualify for games and he had also been left out of the Soviet Union National Team in 1976. His glory days were in the past… but this isn’t completely true. Some people consider the following years of his life as his greatest. Click next to find out why!
15. DETERMINED TO RISE ABOVE THIS
Shavarsh didn’t give up his passion though. He was extremely determined and serious about rising above his failure and in late 1976 he traveled to Armenia’s capital Yerevan to train. He used to train in a lake, doing 12-mile runs around it when something that changed his life happened. Shavarsh noticed something in the water.
14. AN ACCIDENT
It appears that a trolleybus had fallen off the road and was sinking into the almost frozen lake. There were people inside! Shavarsh saw that bystanders were calling for help but he knew that emergency services will take a long time to reach the sight. The waters were cold as it was almost winter and time was running up.
13. THE BUS WAS SINKING
As the bus was sinking rapidly Shavarsh didn’t think about it twice. Even though that trying to rescue these people would definitely risk his life he knew that he was the only one who could help them. He stayed out of the water only to warn a team of boys, not to enter the ice-cold lake. Then he dove in!
12. THE WAS WAS DIRTY
Under the surface Shavarsh realized that his mission would be more difficult than expected. The waters, except for freezing were also extremely muddy so Shavarsh had to completely rely on his instincts to locate the bus. Fortunately 30 seconds later he saw the bus, he smashed the window and pulled out one of the passengers =unconscious- back to safety.
11. RESCUED 20 PEOPLE
Minutes later the emergency services arrived at the spot only to watch Shavarsh going in and out of the water, in his endeavors to save all the people trapped in the sinking bus. He wasn’t going to stop even though his left leg was severely cut by a glass, probably while trying to smash a window with his foot.
Shavarsh managed to save 20 souls from the sinking trolleybus. and he only stopped when he fell into an unconscious state because of oxygen deprivation. If it wasn’t for him, these people wouldn’t be here today.
9. DIDN’T TAKE CREDIT
The rescue didn’t gain any publicity at the time and Shavarsh’s miraculous efforts remained unknown. He was fine with it and he focused on recovering from the rescue and resume his training. But there was a big problem…
8. HE WASN’T GETTING BETTER
It appeared that his heroic attempts caused him permanent damage in the lungs. The subzero temperatures of the water and the severe blood loss from his injury made his immune system extremely weak. Because of that, the contaminated water of the lake gave him lung sepsis.It wasn’t looking good.. his life was seriously threatened!
7. HE RETIRED
Even though Shavarsh returned to swimming a month after the event, it was clear that this fateful day took a toll on him. He decided to step down and focus on being a coach as he felt that he had more to offer to the world in this way. He never regretted his decision to save those people, and he admitted that he would do it again!
6. A NEWSPAPER WROTE ABOUT HIM
As mentioned before, the story didn’t get any publicity as Soviet Media avoided portraying national tragedies. Months later. a local newspaper got aware of his heroic deeds and wrote a story about him. The ex-swimmer’s efforts were officially recognized and he was receiving numerous medals!
5. HIS OWN ASTEROID
Because Soviet Government didn’t recognize his efforts, it was local authorities and people who praised Shavarsh for his heroic rescue. An Armenian astronomer, who learned about the event when the newspapers wrote about it, named an asteroid he had just found in Shavarsh’s honor!
4. A GREAT MAN
Shavarsh, being a former star and a heroic rescuer, despite getting a lot of attention and deals because of his increased publicity never let his deed get over his head. “A man can find himself somewhere people need his help. I am not an exception,”, he said!
3. ONCE A HERO, ALWAYS A HERO
Years later, Shavarsh was driving by a house that had caught on fire. Even though he was exhausted at this time he never though twice and run inside to save some people and help the rescuers! Once a hero, always a hero!
2. A NATIONAL SENSATION
boredomtherapy.comPeople never forget about Shavarsh and his heroic doing! Four decades later, in 2014, he was the one to carry the Olympic Torch that would let the Winter Olympics of Sochi begin!
1. HE RUNS A COMPANY
Nowadays Shavarsh lives a peaceful life in Moscow. He completely left behind his swimming career and focused on running his shoe manufacturing business named “Second Breath”. He never regretted his decision to save those lives and he was really humble about that, his medals speaks for themselves after all!