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Russia: Four-time amputee showcases major martial arts award04:05

Russia: Four-time amputee showcases major martial arts award

Russian Federation, Pushkin, Moscow region
February 3, 2019 at 22:14 GMT +00:00 · Published

Russian para-athlete Sergei Burlakov attended the Open Festival of Sports and Martial Arts in the Moscow region city of Pushkin after recently receiving a major martial arts award in the US.

“My brain refused to believe. It is best of the best, the best-acknowledged nomination. When my name was called, I felt like, 'Yes!',” said Burlakov, 38, as he described his emotions at being declared ‘the Spirit of Space’ in front of hundreds of martial arts performers in the US.

The award was presented at the so-called 'Academy Awards of Martial Arts' in Atlantic city, USA, last month, to recognise Burlakov's contribution in promoting sports.

The four-time amputee wishes to share his enthusiasm with his compatriots, “Thank God you gave me the opportunity to bring this award to Russia," he said.

Burlakov sustained his disabilities after the car he was in fell 15 metres off a cliff edge. Burlakov survived the crash, but spent the night unconscious in the freezing cold. The car was discovered in the morning. He lost both his hands and feet but not his hope. He later turned to sports.

Burlakov got back to his home city – Rostov region’s Taganrog and started jogging. He was so good at it that he became a Russian champion runner, than in 2004 he became the world’s first four-time amputee to run the New York Marathon. It took him six hours 51 minutes and Burlakov set a Guinness World Record by completing the course.

The para-athlete started conquering sports one by one: bike riding, track-and-field athletics, skydiving, shooting, sailing, and swimming. He succeeded and inspired athletes around the world, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, who reportedly invited him as honorary guest to a para-karate competition.

In the summer of 2018 he took part in the ultra-triathlon Yermak contest in the Urals. His teammate Valiriy Rogozin recalls swimming four kilometers in water of just eight degrees centigrade.

“We swum till the end only because Sergei was with us. Judging by my personal feelings, about 15 minutes after the start I found out I was drowning," he said.

"Everything was cramping because it was really cold there. I remembered there was a man with no arms and legs swimming behind us and it inspired me,” he added.

Russia: Four-time amputee showcases major martial arts award04:05
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Russian para-athlete Sergei Burlakov attended the Open Festival of Sports and Martial Arts in the Moscow region city of Pushkin after recently receiving a major martial arts award in the US.

“My brain refused to believe. It is best of the best, the best-acknowledged nomination. When my name was called, I felt like, 'Yes!',” said Burlakov, 38, as he described his emotions at being declared ‘the Spirit of Space’ in front of hundreds of martial arts performers in the US.

The award was presented at the so-called 'Academy Awards of Martial Arts' in Atlantic city, USA, last month, to recognise Burlakov's contribution in promoting sports.

The four-time amputee wishes to share his enthusiasm with his compatriots, “Thank God you gave me the opportunity to bring this award to Russia," he said.

Burlakov sustained his disabilities after the car he was in fell 15 metres off a cliff edge. Burlakov survived the crash, but spent the night unconscious in the freezing cold. The car was discovered in the morning. He lost both his hands and feet but not his hope. He later turned to sports.

Burlakov got back to his home city – Rostov region’s Taganrog and started jogging. He was so good at it that he became a Russian champion runner, than in 2004 he became the world’s first four-time amputee to run the New York Marathon. It took him six hours 51 minutes and Burlakov set a Guinness World Record by completing the course.

The para-athlete started conquering sports one by one: bike riding, track-and-field athletics, skydiving, shooting, sailing, and swimming. He succeeded and inspired athletes around the world, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, who reportedly invited him as honorary guest to a para-karate competition.

In the summer of 2018 he took part in the ultra-triathlon Yermak contest in the Urals. His teammate Valiriy Rogozin recalls swimming four kilometers in water of just eight degrees centigrade.

“We swum till the end only because Sergei was with us. Judging by my personal feelings, about 15 minutes after the start I found out I was drowning," he said.

"Everything was cramping because it was really cold there. I remembered there was a man with no arms and legs swimming behind us and it inspired me,” he added.

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