Continuing in his “On Par” Interview series …
Dmitry Klokov interviews Dmitry Lapikov.
Thanks to Evgeny Filatov for translating all of part 1 for us. Also thanks to Kirill Kazakov for adding in details.
Update 08.08.2013: Part 2 is translated! Thanks to Kirill.
KLOKOV: Greetings to our viewers. Today we will be talking “On Equal Terms” with Beijing bronze medalist, twice World Champion (2006 and 2009), five times Russian Champion and five times national record holder, Honoured Master of Sports [Master of sports is the 2nd highest rank in Russian sports hierarchy system (1st is International Master of Sports), it is awarded to an athlete, who lifts a certain weight at any Weightlifting Federation-approved competition; it is 310 kg (snatch + C&J) for 94 kg class, 320 kg for 105 kg class and 325 kg class. Basically, a remnant of the Soviet system, where it influenced an athlete’s salary. Today it’s nothing but a vain achievement. “Honoured” title is rewarded by the Ministry of sports, not the Federation, and has some material benefits] – Lapikov Dmitry Valentinovich. Let me remind our viewers that Dmitry Lapikov was born on June 4th, 1982 in Kaliningrad where he resides and works to this day. 100% loyal to his hometown, huh? Thank you Dima for agreeing to talk with me on camera, I feel — and so do the viewers — that you aren’t quite comfortable being in front of the camera. But we’ll fix that.
LAPIKOV: Thank you for having me.
KLOKOV: *Laughs* Having! We’re having you filmed dusk till dawn, just as promised. Dimon [even more informal version of name Dmitry, than Dima; think Robert-Rob-Bobby], I was in Kaliningrad once, long time ago. To me it seemed like an old and beautiful city; every building seemed to be filled with history. When traveling through Moscow – you have buildings with memorial plaques on them , and then right next to it is a skyscraper. At that time Kaliningrad was not like that. How are things now? Tell us a little bit about its history. We’re aware that you know your city well and you always told us stories about it – in case someone was unfamiliar with its history. So give us a brief report – who, how, and when.
LAPIKOV: Prior to the Second World War these territories were Eastern Prussia, i.e. belonged Germany. Its former (German) name was Königsberg. After the war it was renamed into Kaliningrad. City history is indeed very rich. It was built in Gothic style. There are lots of castles, German-style forts, Baltic Sea is nearby.
KLOKOV: Is it cold?
LAPIKOV: No, it’s warm enough to swim by the middle of June, water temperature is about 19-20C°. I love the city very much.
KLOKOV: In general, Kaliningrad, Königsberg, is there any history behind those names? Königsberg – what does it mean?
LAPIKOV: Königsberg, it means a castle [Lapikov is a tad bit wrong about that one, in old German it means King’s Mountain]. Poles call it their own way – Królewiec, which means kingdom or a king.
KLOKOV: So the name has Polish origin?
LAPIKOV: Yes. East Prussian lands belonged to Poles, then to Germans. And it’s a peculiar thing about its location — in order to get from Russia [Kaliningrad] to Russia [rest of the country] you have to cross two countries, if you go by car or by train.
KLOKOV: You travel to training camp in Moscow by car frequently. How much time does that take?
LAPIKOV: The distance is 1280 km, not that far.
KLOKOV: That’s it?
LAPIKOV: Yes, not that far. Important factor is how busy the customs checkpoints are. Last time it was tough — I’ve been stuck for 6 hours at the border. Also, one must have a visa.
KLOKOV: A visa to get from Russia to Russia? Cool!
LAPIKOV: Yeah. By plane – no problems though.
KLOKOV: That is the city where Dmitry Lapikov is from. Let’s talk about your childhood. What did you do before weightlifting? Any hobbies, groups? I, for a short while, attended a children’s choreography group. Have no idea, why my parents brought me there. We’ve been learning a Topotushki dance or something similar. *laughs* Complete with attires and everything.
KLOKOV: Well, my first kindergarten memories are from the time when I was 4-5, I remember my dad taking me to gymnastics lessons, trying to instill love for sport.
KLOKOV: My dad also did gymnastics before weightlifting, by the way.
Gymnastics is optimal for the development of a childLAPIKOV: I think it’s an optimum sport for a child development at that age.
KLOKOV: Conditioning in general [GPP – General Physical Preparedness]?
LAPIKOV: Indeed. Flexibility, stretching. Then, between 1st and 2nd grades maybe there was some involvement into dancing. *both laugh*
KLOKOV: A-ha, so Dmitry Lapikov did attend choreography lessons!
LAPIKOV: Don’t remember the name.
KLOKOV: Dmitry absolutely has to do Dancing with the Stars [Klokov participated in Russian version of Dancing with the Stars]. I offered before, but he refused.
LAPIKOV: I just don’t have such straight legs. I wouldn’t have made through the casting!
KLOKOV: Oh, but I have some straight legs! Like this! *imitates bow legs with his hand [5:15].
So did your parents make you do anything, like dancing for example? Were they like “Dima, you’ll be going to dance lessons.” And you were like “I don’t want to, why wouldn’t I do that other thing”, and they were like “No waaaay”.
LAPIKOV: Not really. It was like in any part of a school system of that period, circa 89-90; we had group lessons of sorts, which we were attending together, as a class. It was not as professional as your dancing, with Rumba and stuff. [Lapikov refers to Dmitry’s experience in Dancing with the Stars; it was samba and cha-cha-cha (kind of), not Rumba, though]
KLOKOV: Ahh, I’ve forgotten all the moves already. I remember, you told us that your dad rode a bicycle or motorcycle to bring you to the kindergarten.
LAPIKOV: *laughs* Well the distance between gymnastics and kindergarten was not that large. He came to pick me up by bicycle, I sat on the top tube, and we rode.
KLOKOV: So you say he took you by bicycle. What year was that? A car was still a luxury at the time?
LAPIKOV: Yeah, I am from a working-class family. We’ve never lived in luxury.
KLOKOV: What did your parents do? Right now they are most likely close to the retirement.
LAPIKOV: My mom has retired. She worked in a food sector for her entire life.
KLOKOV: In public catering or in food production industry?
LAPIKOV: She started as a cook, then was promoted to a department head, then was in charge of a restaurant. She was 5 class cook, which, at that time, was the highest qualification level. [Certain professions have class or “razryad” in Russia and other Easter European countries, sort of like accreditation levels] Dad worked in pulp-and-paper industry. That’s where they met each other.
KLOKOV: Right at the factory?!
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LAPIKOV: Yeah, both worked during same time period.
KLOKOV: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
LAPIKOV: Yes, an older brother and a sister. Brother is Master of Sports in weightlifting and kettlebell.
KLOKOV: Oh, so he was a weightlifter? What were his bests?
LAPIKOV: Snatch – 165, C&J – 195.
KLOKOV: Yesterday we were at a show with Gennadiy Petrovich Malahov, dedicated to “Diving board” show on Channel 1. Dima was there to cheer us up. Afterwards we approached Gennadiy Petrovich, who was a weightlifter at one point in time, which I didn’t believe myself. And I said: “Gennadiy Petrovich, were you really a weightlifter?” And he said
“Yes, my bests were 160kg and 190kg.”
LAPIKOV: 160 & 200.
KLOKOV: Ok, 160 & 190 or 160 & 200. He was Master of Sports in Weightlifting. So there are some guys who lift at Channel 1! *waves a hand* So your brother is a weightlifter. So did he get you into weightlifting?
LAPIKOV: That was funny story. Many boys of that age, 9-11, they like to play soccer at the school stadium and wherever possible. I wasn’t any different, I also wanted to play soccer. But I wanted to improve my skill, so I reached out to him. Brother, sign me up.
KLOKOV: That’s what you said? “Brother, sign me up!” *both laugh*
LAPIKOV: “Sign me up for a soccer club”, I meant. There was one at “Baltika” stadium nearby. So he takes me to the stadium. We go inside the complex, under southern stands. As he opens the door, I see various metal objects – barbells, kettlebells. Only later I found out what they were called. But I didn’t see any balls.
KLOKOV: Closest thing to a ball was a kettlebell! *both laugh*
LAPIKOV: So I thought it was important to develop physique, then I’d be let into the field. This was also part of my brother’s judgment call, he brought me to the gym, introduced me to Rudik Aleksandr Afanasiyevich. He was my first coach. We still stay in touch. Nevertheless, I still went by myself and signed up for soccer practice afterwards. So I’ve been completing a full soccer practice, and then coming to the gym. Nothing good came out of it, I couldn’t keep the barbell stable, coach was angry at me.
KLOKOV: Do you understand why now? *both laugh*
LAPIKOV: I was just exhausted. Then he found out that I’ve been attending soccer practice at the same time, and we had a serious conversation. He knows how to convince people. He told that me soccer is a team sport and weightlifting is sport of individuals. Your result will depend on your own training; train hard and competition results will follow. “But you will achieve Master of Sports rank anyway”, he said. I fell in love with weightlifting, and I stuck with it.
KLOKOV: And besides that under-the-stands gym where Rudik was coaching, how was the situation with weightlifting in your region?
LAPIKOV: We had regional competitions, quite a few guys participated. But we did not have any major weightlifting traditions in our region.
KLOKOV: So one can say “Kaliningrad weightlifting is Dima Lapikov”. Just a modest statement of fact. *both laugh* Excellent, he didn’t take the bait! But you are the ultimate badass weightlifter in Kaliningrad, right?
LAPIKOV: Well, I wouldn’t say so, there are many guys who …
KLOKOV: I mean going by the titles only.
LAPIKOV: A pioneer, maybe. When I signed up for weightlifting, regions C&J record was 195kg.
KLOKOV: Wasn’t that Rudik, who coached this record-holder?
LAPIKOV: Actually, the record-holder was my brother.
LAPIKOV: At the 130kg body weight his lifts were 165 and 195.
KLOKOV: You mentioned Rudik as an individual with a gift of convincing. Has he lifted himself? How did he get into weightlifting?
LAPIKOV: He trained as a weightlifter, then he graduated from the university with a degree in weightlifting.
KLOKOV: University of Physical Education?
LAPIKOV: University of Physical Education, I don’t remember the city but it was on the territory of the former Lithuanian Socialis Republic. Rudik dedicated his entire life to the sport.
KLOKOV: Up to this day?
LAPIKOV: Yes. I am very grateful that my brother took me to him. Raised me like a father.
KLOKOV: Can you say that your success at an international level drew attention to weightlifting in Kaliningrad? At least in your local gym? If I got it right, you train at the same gym, when you come home. Let’s say, you leave for Chekhov for 6-8 months (there are training sessions like that), you come back and what do you see? Are there more young athletes or, maybe, less of them?
LAPIKOV: The most important thing is that the weightlifters of Kaliningrad have a place they can call their home now.
KLOKOV: A proper weightlifting gym?
LAPIKOV: Yes. It was built in 2007. Excellent gym with fine equipment, 12 weightlifting platforms, playground for team sports.
KLOKOV: Is it an entire sports complex?
LAPIKOV: It is essentially for strength-related. In the past all of us had to train under the stands or in the basements. But now this is our training place.
KLOKOV: Is that where the “Amber barbell” contest [local weightlifting contest] is held?
LAPIKOV: Yes Specifically in this gym.
KLOKOV: So you use the training gym for warm-up sessions, and the playground is used for competition?
LAPIKOV: Exactly. Regarding attendance, I think our sport is more for quality over quantity, but, yes, there are more youngsters training now.
KLOKOV: Well, quantity is important too. Bigger drawing pool can have more prospects, against a smaller one. Take China for instance: there’s a good chance that at least one out of a million visitors will grow into the next champion. And compare it to our audience.
LAPIKOV: Well, weightlifting never had a large participation numbers to begin with, especially when compared to soccer, boxing, wrestling. They’ve always been in the majority. It was a little harder for me, since I had no landmark, not even a European Champion has ever come from our region. I didn’t know, what path should I take. But now everyone knows that your chance is out there and it is quite real, there’s a clear path to follow, if you’re up for hard work and dedication.
KLOKOV: What have you achieved by the time you went to college? It is known that colleges and universities prefer to admit athletes, who already won something. So that later they would represent them.
LAPIKOV: I was Master of Sports by that time. I’ve got my International Master of Sports title on my sophomore year.
KLOKOV: What college did you join?
LAPIKOV: Kaliningrad Law Academy. It is supported by Russian Federation Ministry of Interior.
KLOKOV: Is that your first major? I know that you have 2 degrees.
LAPIKOV: I graduated after 9 grades of high school. I wanted stay for 2 more years and join a university. Then my brother advised me not to waste my time and go for secondary education instead [In Russian education system pupils are given this choice after the 9th year: stay in high school for two more year (they are used to prepare them for university exams) or graduate right then and there, apply for secondary education and get a profession]. I didn’t resist much and did as he told. My secondary education degree was as an HVAC technician.
KLOKOV: Sounds solid.
LAPIKOV: So that’s what I tell all of my friends: “If your fridge breaks — I am at your service. I can help to move it or toss it out the window” *both laugh*
KLOKOV: This refrigerator background is quite interesting, but the fact that you can be proud of is the Law Academy degree. That’s some serious education. How did you choose that place? How comes you went the entire Ministry of Interior direction? I’ve heard that you’ve competed on behalf of Dinamo sports club [historically, all Russian sports teams and clubs, united under the name Dinamo pertain to the Ministry of Interior]. Was that your brother again?
LAPIKOV: Not really. In general, that institute is held in high regard in Kaliningrad, and my love for strength-related sports helped to pass the exams. The very structure of this Ministry, the well-known “strongmen”, kind of resembles sports. [Lapikov and Klokov refer to the fact that many people, working for Ministry of Interior are nicknamed ‘silovik’ from ‘sila’, which means “strength”. Similar English terms are “enforcer” or “muscle”, when referring to an individual]. The year I entered was 2001, it was tough. I had to work with tutors. But I am grateful to my instructors.
KLOKOV: Were you treated better because you were an athlete? Made you any favors? Or it wasn’t like the University of Physical Education in that regard?
LAPIKOV: Well, I wouldn’t call that attitude giving advantages or favors. I was met with understanding when I was there.
KLOKOV: Understanding that you were not a slob?
LAPIKOV: There were some difficulties when I had to prove that it was impossible to know absolutely everything, and that it was more important to know where to look for the right answers. Thank God, I graduated with honors in 2006.
KLOKOV: Graduated with Red Diploma? [Red Diploma is an equivalent to finishing with excellent marks all around]
LAPIKOV: Yes, with Red Diploma.
KLOKOV: A refresher to our viewers, thanks to his achievement in weightlifting, Dmitry has already been first lieutenant before Beijing Olympics. And after getting the bronze there, by the direct order of Minister of Interior, he was promoted to captain. And a bit later, some 2 years after that, he has got the rank of major. That’s what you call a swift career. Are you called policeman now? [Sportsmen, belonging to Dinamo sports club are considered active police officers and, therefore, are promoted after successful competitions]
LAPIKOV: Since 2011 the law enforcement body is referred to as “police” [as opposed to pre-2011 “militia”].
KLOKOV: Do these police ranks help you somehow in life?
LAPIKOV: More acquaintances, more friends. Larger social circle, MVD also backs me up.
KLOKOV: New circle of fans as well?
LAPIKOV: Well, kind of, as an example of physical form and such.
KLOKOV: Police officers have to confirm their qualification every now and then. Were you ever summoned to participate in MVD competitions? Rope tug, kettlebells?
LAPIKOV: Yeah, 1st year. I tried girevoy sport [kettlebell sport] and armwrestling.
KLOKOV: Did you beat everyone?
LAPIKOV: Actually, armwrestling is a dangerous sport for weightlifters.
KLOKOV: Absolutely. And kettlebell too.
LAPIKOV: Ligament and joints require different kind of conditioning. I participated in a couple of kettlebell competitions. I needed to shut down all those kettlebell training sessions, so one time in a middle of a competition, I let go of the kettlebell right at the front judge.
KLOKOV: What?! Were you disqualified?
LAPIKOV: I was. I also let down the team a bit. And that was the end of me as a kettlebell lifter [Girevik – Person who professionally competes in kettlebells] *both laugh*
Beijing 2008 Olympics
KLOKOV: Let’s talk about Beijing a little bit. It was 2008. I remember your training going really well at the time.
LAPIKOV: Yes, luckily got no injuries.
KLOKOV: At that time it was absolutely a war in 105kg category. Everyone was trying to win a spot to go to Olympics, all the “monsters of weightlifting” *grins*. Gleb Pisarevsky, Berestov, Vladimir Smarchkov, Dmitry Lapikov, Dmitry Klokov.
LAPIKOV: All distinguished athletes.
KLOKOV: All of us distinguished athletes, World champions, European champions, Olympic champions. I remember that your first breakthrough from the rest of us was your performance at Russian Cup. I was injured at the time and came there to sell some T-shirts. And while there I see Lapikov show outstanding results and lift insane kilograms – you broke Russian Record in Snatch that stood for 10 years as well as Russian Record in Total. And there was me, with my T-shirts, so I told my wife I need to get out of here and train! I accelerated my shoulder rehab and started training more vigorously. Your results jolted my motivation, for which I am grateful to you. Did your results let you know that you are closer to going to Beijing or did you try and somehow play them down inside so you would not be as distracted in preparation?
LAPIKOV: Well, if we go further back to Russian Championship in 2007, I came in 3rd. I was taken as a backup for Worlds, which made me very angry. And it was enough for me to lift those results in the Russian Cup. But those results did not slow me down. It was just a reassurance that we are on the right track and doing the right things.
About His Coaches
KLOKOV: Your Wikipedia page says you have 3 coaches: Rudik, Anikanov, and Mankuev. You already told us about Rudik, now let’s talk about the other two. I’d like to know what kind of people they are and who’s responsible for what in your team.
LAPIKOV: Gennadiy Victorovich Anikanov – distinguished Russian coach. I reached out to him in 2004, when I had an injury. We found common ground and started working together. So all my adult achievements are connected to him. We did a good job, for which I am very grateful. It was a good time. Who else is in my Wiki?
LAPIKOV: Mankuev. Lupsan, he was responsible for monitoring my health condition.
KLOKOV: Was he a doctor Doctor?
LAPIKOV: Yeah, you could say that. He was keeping tabs on the medical issues and stuff.
KLOKOV: How did you meet?
LAPIKOV: Also at training camp. We got along really well. We found common tongue, connected 1-on-1. He also had huge passion for weightlifting. He wanted to help me using his knowledge and abilities. Which is what I am very grateful for.
KLOKOV: Returning to Gennadiy Victorovich Anikanov , I’d like to say that he was my first coach, who trained me until around 2004. I am grateful to this man for teaching me to work hard and learn to endure high intensities in training. All those videos, where you see me training every single day… I owe this spirit to that man. He’s a very interesting man, very professional. Regarding you, when we were preparing for Junior World Championship, in 2002, you started developing an affection for him. We trained on the same platform at the time. That’s when you started to train using our workout plan.
LAPIKOV: He kind of looked after me, but main focus was on you. I had no right to wedge in between you two, it would be unethical from all points of view. I think you had some jealousy.
KLOKOV: That’s exactly what I wanted to touch on. In my opinion, when Gennadiy Victorovich started to coach you I felt him being a little distant towards me. And then I found out that maybe in 2004, which I don’t remember clearly, that he was listed as your coach as well, that kind of got to me. You didn’t tell me that and we were friends at the time. I just got upset because of that and we didn’t talk for 2-3 years. But this helped me in the long run. In 2002 Gennadiy Victorovich told my father that he was not going to coach me, and then he began coaching Lapikov; so all these things combined together made me throw myself into training to show that I am also capable and worthy of some respect.
LAPIKOV: It was an interesting time.
KLOKOV: Nevertheless, the score in this competition between me and Dmitry Lapikov in eyes of Anikanov is about 6-3, my lead. *laughs* If you count all events where Dmitry and I competed, score is 6-3, in my favor. Maybe Dima will cut from 140kg to join us in 105kg cat.
LAPIKOV: Oh man, cutting weight. I’d like at least a 6-6.
KLOKOV: Yeah, 6-6, and we can just leave it at that. In general, when you were preparing for Beijing, did you guys have any discussions about me, since we were sort of competitors, and Anikanov was aware that I’ve excelled at certain events before. I had the same red fog in front of my eyes, I’ve been telling my dad and my coach that I want to outlift them [Lapikov and GV]. Did you have similar discussions?
LAPIKOV: No, we didn’t have such talks, that we needed to outlift you personally.
KLOKOV: Well that’s clear. But any kind of hyping you up? Nothing at all?
LAPIKOV: No. After the weights that I lifted in Saransk, snatched 200 kg, cleaned and jerked 233 kg, the goal was to fight for the gold. I saw that you’ve been doing different things, you were benching.
KLOKOV: Yeah, I had back issues at the moment. The entire training was somewhat hasty and irregular.
LAPIKOV: I didn’t watch you all the time, like if you snatched 190kg that I had to do 191kg.
KLOKOV: And there was no point in that, truth be told.
LAPIKOV: I’ve underestimated you as an opponent, but the main goal was to fight for the top prize – Olympics.
KLOKOV: Have you considered Aramnau as a rival at that time? Did you know about his existence at all?
LAPIKOV: Sure, I’ve been watching 2007 World Championships.
KLOKOV: but still what he lifted in Thailand…
LAPIKOV: 195, 228
KLOKOV: But still, that’s not the kind of result that would’ve distinguished him as an out-of-reach leader.
LAPIKOV: I though quite the opposite in fact. Those weight were the season’s best, I think.
So they were my landmark, a reference point that I looked for.
KLOKOV: I remember my own feelings, while preparing for Beijing, everything felt wrong and out of place. I didn’t even know whether I would go or not. I was on the cloud nine, when I got there, let alone thinking about the gold. Regarding Gennadiy Victorovich, you guys were a good duo, but then your ways parted about 1.5-2 years before London Olympics. Was that 2010? You guys had some discord, no?
LAPIKOV: That was after Russian Championship in Kazan in 2011. My result was not great, old injuries have been bothering me. I was unsure about going there. We’ve decided that have to compete, I took gold. But then, as many have heard, this shady story… [refers to his failed doping test]
KLOKOV: Yeah, we’ll touch on that in a sec.
LAPIKOV: Kind of because of that story – we went our separate ways. [I think Lapikov refers to him getting IWF ban for Methylhexamine. The dialog is vague as well, both of them use literally phrase ‘neponyatnyj sluchaj’ “unlear case”, I made the best interpretation I could]
KLOKOV: No other reason, such as enmity or disputes?
LAPIKOV: No, we’ve never even raised our voices at each other.
KLOKOV: Just a misunderstanding?
LAPIKOV: Yes. I faced misunderstanding. I did not expect that a close person would distance himself like that, especially during such difficult time in my life. I thought it must have been the other way round…
KLOKOV: Was it him, who distanced himself?
LAPIKOV: … I though the right way to do in this situation would be to gain all support, stick to each other, but he did what he did.[It was very hard to discern Lapikov’s last words; I am not 100% sure of what he said at the end as it was abrupt., judging by his tone it still seems a sensitive issue somewhat]
KLOKOV: How are you getting along now?
LAPIKOV: We say ‘Hello’ whenever we see each other and that’s it.
KLOKOV: Would you say that Gennadiy Victorovich is one of the best weightlifting coaches in Russia today? Someone who can be recommended?
LAPIKOV: As far as we talk about his dedication to his profession, to weightlifting — yes, I think he is one of the best. THE best, perhaps. I don’t remember any other coach, two of whose students would win medals in same weight class.
LAPIKOV: You and I – we’re both his students.
KLOKOV: We were, from different periods of time. And yet we stood at the same pedestal. I’ve heard that you got an extravagant welcome after Beijing, that your wife arrived in a white limo. How was the overall reception? Was that the only Beijing medal that Kaliningrad sportsmen got?
LAPIKOV: From Beijing – yes, that was the only medal for Kaliningrad. I was the first who was born in Kaliningrad, represented it, and brought home a medal.
KLOKOV: How was the reception? *throws hand up in the air*
LAPIKOV: An excellent reception it was, very warm welcome indeed.
KLOKOV: Not like Ilya Ilin was greeted? By his entire city and people carrying him on their hands.
LAPIKOV: Well, I am little heavier than him. I was very grateful for a warm welcome. Lera did a tremendous job, a complete surprise. I loved it. Greeted me in white limo, that was unforgettable.
KLOKOV: Who else was in the limo?
LAPIKOV: Friends and relatives.
KLOKOV: Where did you go?
LAPIKOV: To the restaurant. Valeriy Mihailovich Makarov – another important figure in my life, helps me out a lot – he took the lead and booked a restaurant, organized everything. And we just had a good time in family atmosphere.
About his Wife
KLOKOV: You mentioned Lera. Who is she, where is she from? Was she into sports?
LAPIKOV: She was not into sports at all, definitely not a sportsman. She disregarded physical education.
KLOKOV: My wife didn’t attend PE lessons in school either. Such a sissy!
LAPIKOV: She spent that time doing homework. Graduated high school with honors [similar to a valedictorian]
KLOKOV: Man, Red Diploma of the Ministry of Interior Law Academy, graduating with honours from high school…
LAPIKOV: Well I had to keep up. We met in college, during a PE class in the university.
KLOKOV: You probably walked like a king over there. *both laugh* She must have looked at you as if you were a living God.
LAPIKOV: I was on my sophomore year, she was a freshman. We are still together. We have a daughter – Elizaveta.
KLOKOV: How does Lera take your constant absence from home? Is it hard for her? Because Lena [Klokov’s wife] is always with me during my training. Like millions of women, who don’t see their husbands because of their jobs?
LAPIKOV: She doesn’t really have a choice. I am very grateful to her, she is a loyal person. Now it is harder since the child was born. But we are working on it.
KLOKOV: I think I am the only athlete in the national team, who almost always brings his wife to training camps. I think that this is right, because I don’t have to worry, my thoughts are not striding back home. My family is with me and I feel relieved. I always ask this question. Why, having the means and material wealth, doesn’t she travel with you? Her job interferes?
KLOKOV: I always ask this everybody – if you have the means [monetary], why does she not travel with you? Her job does not allow it?
LAPIKOV: It’s her job, yes. She has a position of responsibility as a lawyer. She cannot just take a leave. It’s hard to predict stuff like court hearing dates and such. Now it got a little easier, but still not as easy as I’d like it to be.
KLOKOV: But you do want to bring her over?
LAPIKOV: Yes, I’d like to bring them both, my wife and my daughter.
KLOKOV: You know, I think it is very important that members of the national team would bring their wives, children to the training camp. Only through them we can forge stronger ties and builder sturdy relationships. Even though we are rivals in a way, we get tired of seeing the same faces every single day, their presence would create a better atmosphere. I cannot wait until you bring your family, as I will bring mine immediately.
LAPIKOV: I remember your idea, that you’d like to see all the guys from the national team bringing over their children, wives, everyone in an ultimate get-together, at least once.
KLOKOV: I’d really love that. Chigishev with his gang, me, everyone. Like a huge kindergarten. It would be an awesome to experience, time of our lives. Imagine the coolness of photos that we’d be able to make.
Since we’ve mentioned girls, what do you value most in women?
LAPIKOV: In my wife I appreciate…
KLOKOV: Well, your wife is your wife. But in general, in women, what do you value in women?
LAPIKOV: Loyalty, honesty. These qualities are important for me. Sincerity.
KLOKOV: You mentioned you had a daughter, right after Beijing. What is her name?
KLOKOV: Why did you pick that name? I’ve called my daughter Nasten’ka, like in a Russian folk tales. [diminutive of Nastya or Anastasia]. Since we are like epic bogatyrs of the old.
LAPIKOV: Well, we really didn’t disagree on the name. Elizavetta – beautiful Russian name. Elizavetta Dmitrievna.
KLOKOV: How did you find Lera was pregnant? Were you training at the time?
LAPIKOV: Actually, we were at a government building, resolving some business, we got in a car and then Lera told me. I felt unreal.
KLOKOV: I completely understand as well as whoever had children could probably relate too. Plan to have more kids?
LAPIKOV: Yeah, I’d like to.
LAPIKOV: Well, the main thing is that the baby is healthy.
KLOKOV: Reminder to our viewers, Dmitry Lapikov celebrated his daughter’s birthday in a quite grand. I think only few managed to do it like that. Why don’t you tell it yourself.
LAPIKOV: Yeah, it came out as an interesting story. I brought Lera to the hospital and 1.5 hours later I had to be on a plane to Moscow. Remember we were summoned to be presented with national awards ceremony?
KLOKOV: So you checked her in and went to the airport?
LAPIKOV: After arriving in Moscow I already got a text saying “You’re a dad”. Lera wrote that I had a daughter. She was born while I was in the air. Next day, 7th of September…
KLOKOV: She was born on 7th of September, so on 8th of September we’ve met.
LAPIKOV: Yeah next day we were gathered in a Kremlin restaurant.
KLOKOV: There was a huge table. All Olympic athletes gathered over there. And Dima says “Guys I have a pleasant news” — “A toast to my newborn daughter.” It was awesome. We were there so we could be presented with national awards for winning medals in Beijing. All of us weightlifters got the “Order for Merit to the Fatherland” medals.
Actually, you have quite a number of awards and medals, right?
LAPIKOV: Well, a few …
KLOKOV: Don’t be shy! *slaps his arm* [46:02] nevertheless, what are you proud of the most in your life?
LAPIKOV: Well, I don’t really like to brag about my awards…
KLOKOV: No, no, I’ve said that you have many awards, but what’s your proudest moment in life?
LAPIKOV: My daughter being born.
KLOKOV: Same for me.
LAPIKOV: I think it’s the moment that we live for.
KLOKOV: Khadzhimurat said [in his Interview with Dmitry] that he is proud of the fact that his father is proud of him.
LAPIKOV: He must lack that parental experience then.
KLOKOV: Biggest regret in life? What would you change if you had a chance? *laughs*
Biggest Regret: changing my shoes right before OlympicsLAPIKOV: I can’t say that I regret anything. But I wouldn’t have changed my shoes right before the Olympics. *both laugh* It played its crucial part during the performance.
KLOKOV: So the story is real, or was it just an excuse?
LAPIKOV: No, it was real. I was trying various socks, switching the left and right one, putting two pairs of socks on, trying to put on the knitted socks. They were not comfortable no matter the combinations of socks I tried. We were given them a week before.
KLOKOV: Wait, wait before that we had Adidas shoes.
LAPIKOV: In which we trained constantly.
KLOKOV: But we were given the same one as a replacement!
LAPIKOV: No. Mine were different. It was a newer model.
KLOKOV: Apti lost Olympics because he drank a bottle of water and Dima Lapikov lost because, here let me show you *lifts up the shows* because of these lifting shoes.
LAPIKOV: When I was snatching the bar from the ground, the weight kept pulling me forward.
KLOKOV: Maybe differences in the heel? After Olympics we were presented not only medals, which I hope will be usable once we retire, but other “memorabilia”, too — bimmers. Men got BMW X5, no matter what place they got. Women got BMW X3 no matter what place they got. Some women were upset. Like Yelena Isinbayeva, who placed 1st and still got X3, while Dima barely got 3rd with his lifting shoe debacle and got an X5.
LAPIKOV: Well, this was a gift from President. This was not from a commercial point.
KLOKOV: But still, I would have been upset if I got X3 and you got X5. Anyway, let bygones be bygones. I think you are the only one who still rides his X5, everyone else already switched them for something else.
LAPIKOV: I treat it a special gift from government, president appreciated our work and presented us with a gift. I remember your saying about this: “Aahh, car loses half of its value in a year, it will cost a million less a year from now” *Klokov laughs*, but I still ride mine, I am happy. It’s more than just an objectified amount of money for me.
KLOKOV: We have another frrrriend [the way he pronounces it *mimics Akkaev’s pronunciation with accented ‘R’ sound*] [50:09], who got X5 and treated it like me, Khadzhimurat Akkaev. You guys were great friends at the time, even visited each other.
*Lapikov shifts uncomfortably*
Chill, man, that’s just a question. No need to get all worked up. What can you say about Khadzhimurat? He is quite an interesting personality, charismatic, extraordinary, many people think of him many different ways. It would be interesting to hear your opinion regarding him. I am not asking your opinion of him as a sportsman. I think Akkaev is truly a great athlete. Although you might think different.
LAPIKOV: I met Khadzhimurat in 2000, since 2002 we usually trained together. Every person who comes there, comes from a different region and arrives with his own set of principles. It seems that the majority of our principles matched. We communicated a lot, like brothers. I treated him like one of the closest friends, he was by my side during my important competitions and other life situations, I’ve been paying him with the same coin. I visited his home, met his parents and I am very grateful for that.
KLOKOV: Well, that definitely makes you special. I don’t think anyone else from the team knows Akkaev’s parents.
LAPIKOV: I think in 2009 or 2010 he said that no one else was in this house.
KLOKOV: How were his parents? I think the first thing one notices of Caucasians is their hospitality. Did you feel welcome? Because Khadzhimurat himself not very hospitable, as he said himself during the interview, [52:30] *imitates Akkaev* “Oh man these guests will splash water all over the place.
LAPIKOV: No, they were very kind to me. I felt at home. It was if I have never left my home in Kaliningrad. Everything was good. These memories still live in my head.
KLOKOV: So what happened between you then?
LAPIKOV: Well, I’ve mentioned that everyone brings his own set of principles.
KLOKOV: Did they change or something?
LAPIKOV: In light of some events, life events, people change…
KLOKOV: To the better or worse? *laughs*
LAPIKOV: In a way transform, and our ways parted a bit I guess, but I can’t say anything bad about him.
KLOKOV: Well this is all in the past. I know you guys do not talk much right now, kind of like we didn’t some time ago. But I still think you’ll overcome this, just like you and I did. In reality, we have nothing to contend over.
LAPIKOV: There is life outside of sports, yes. Well, we didn’t have confrontations. Just some things that we didn’t express directly.
KLOKOV: Well, right now you have, a misunderstanding with another member of the team, and all guys are aware of it, with our heaviest man – Chingiz Mogushkov. I wouldn’t even say you had a quarrel, but I just see that something more than simple rivalry going on between you. What happened between the two of you, an argument over the last steak in the canteen?
LAPIKOV: I don’t know what Chingiz is upset about, or what I took from him. I just feel tension from his side. Some irritation.
KLOKOV: Khadzhimurat said that Caucasians display certain audacity, that’s their nature. All of them are quire daring. Was it about religion probably? About you, being a classical Russian Ivan, and him believing in his own god. Because these tensions on the confession grounds, they’re all around us.
LAPIKOV: No, it was not about religion at all. I think once Chingiz will mature, maybe he’ll be a little more reserved. He’s young, he came to the national team and didn’t quite feel the established culture. We all come from different regions.
KLOKOV: Yeah, and all of us have our issues.
LAPIKOV: I think, if you have something to say to a man, say it straight in the face, take it outside if need be, act like a man.
KLOKOV: Do you have any grudge against him?
LAPIKOV: No, absolutely not. We are doing the same thing, this is our trade, the sport that feeds us.
KLOKOV: Our job.
LAPIKOV: We are dedicated to this sport. If you cannot express your discontent directly, face to face, then prove it on the platform and be done with it. We do not communicate with Chingiz right now, maybe over time it will change.
KLOKOV: I am 100% sure it will. It happens everywhere. You are reserved, intelligent guy. In our group, we call you Dima The Good Guy (not Leonardo Di Caprio, as we jokingly call him now) as you are very open-hearted, kind person. You are humble and reserved whoever you’re dealing with, be it your peer or just some young green kid. You talk to them on equal terms, as we do now, you don’t look down upon younger kids who lift an empty bar. Is this a trait of your character or part of your upbringing?
LAPIKOV: These qualities are important for me. I believe that people should be open and sincere to one another. I hate hypocrisy.
KLOKOV: Do we have many hypocrites in the national team? Yes or no?
LAPIKOV: What is ‘many’ in your understanding? More than 1, is that already many? Well, we have peculiar guys.
KLOKOV: For example, if we take 20 guys then 5 is already too much for me.
LAPIKOV: I’ll say again, we have guys with different background and different personal qualities. I am grateful to my parents who raised me the way I am. I owe them everything: my character, my sport achievements. It’s not for me to judge. If people call me “The Good Guy”, then I haven’t got out of touch with reality, no star syndrome. We’re all equal to God.
KLOKOV: Are you religious?
LAPIKOV: Yes, I’m Orthodox Christian. I live with faith in my heart.
KLOKOV: Does it help?
LAPIKOV: Of course, how else could I live without it? One must have faith. With Lord in heart, with love.
KLOKOV: As we’ve said in one of our videos: “Keep faith in the gym, in the canteen, everywhere”. Now we’re going to make a little break and keep on in the part 2.
Klokov: And we’re back at it again. Let’s talk about friends and comrades now, since we’ve touched the subject of less-than-friends, rivals and opponents in the end of the part 1. What do you value the most in a relationship, in friendship? What kind of behavior, words and deeds, what attitude do you expect from me as your friend?
Lapikov: I value straightforwardness regarding any event. I appreciate, when person expresses his thoughts straight away.
Klokov: Do you always tell the truth yourself?
Lapikov: To you?
*both laugh* [00:56]
Klokov: I’ll rephrase the question. In what kind of situations do you lie? Because everybody lies.
Lapikov: Lie…it’s a strong word.
Klokov: Well, not tell the truth. Avoid the answer.
Lapikov: I try not to do this. Of course, in the childhood we often hide the bad marks…But these are little things.
Klokov: And if you know that your truth may cause a backlash, damage yourself, what would you do? Not everyone likes to hear the bitter truth about himself. I don’t give a damn thing what people tell about me, but people are different. Some may be taken aback by this truth — thus you push them away.
Lapikov: Remembering our tensions with Chingiz [Mogushkov] or Khadzhimurat [Akkaev], it was me who was hurt by the truth I voiced out. Well, not hurt, but that’s what caused the tension, strengthened the discrepancies of our views.
Klokov: That’s what I was referring to, in fact. So it was you, telling the bitter truth?
Lapikov: Yes. Looking back, I probably shouldn’t have…But you know what, no. Bitter truth is still better than sweet lies.
Klokov: I agree. Is there a person that you may call a true friend? Be it in the team or at home. I don’t think that it’s someone in the team, but still…
Lapikov: True friend? Yeah, I have one.
Klokov: What kind of man is he? Who is that?
Lapikov: His name’s Igor. We were born in the same maternity clinic, went to the same kindergarten, studied in the same school. We still keep in touch. I have two friends in fact. We’ve been friends since the school. I’m glad that we’re still at good terms.
Klokov: There were some, with whom you’re not anymore?
Lapikov: No. Igor, we haven’t got a single quarrel with him. With Anton though, we had a fight as first-graders.
Lapikov: Yeah, we were played off against each other. So we fought, although we haven’t found out, who was stronger. And that, weirdly, forged our friendship. Since then, we were like hand and glove.
Klokov: Getting back to the barbell. I know about your friendship with Dmitry Berestov. I’ve noted that he’s been more than a pal to you, he supervised your training. What kind of relationship binds you two?
Lapikov: We’ve spent quite a time training together. I can call him a legendary person, a sportsman who had achieved such great heights.
Klokov: Oh, can you?
Lapikov: Well…perhaps, the wording is not quite precise. But for me he’s person that inspires awe and respect.
Klokov: His fame is well-earned then?
Lapikov: Absolutely. Winning the Olympic gold hasn’t changed him at all. He has actually become even more down-to-earth, even closer to other athletes.
Klokov: That’s a trait that people appreciate.
Lapikov: I am very grateful to him. He is one of the leaders of Moscow City Sports Community, which I compete for [a kind of municipal federation of Moscow, which renders support to a variety of sports schools for kids; it has certain influence in the weightlifting circles as well; it’s lesser reach and in general is less powerful than the Federation, but powerful and resourceful enough to support athletes like Klokov, Akkaev and Lapikov in their times of trouble]. He supports me during this tough period of my life. And he has been supporting me for two years now. *looks into camera* Thank you, Dmitry Vladimirovich.
Apart from this athlete-manager relationship, we’ve become good friends. He has recently come to Kaliningrad.
Klokov: To visit you?
Lapikov:To visit the “Amber barbell” contest actually. But we’ve met of course. I gave him a quick guide of the city. He said he liked it a lot and promised to come for a proper vacation one day.
Klokov: You could’ve invited me, you know. At least once. *grins*
Lapikov: I invite you now. Come on over!
Klokov: What a friend! Never invites you unless you practically make him do it. *smiles* [5:46]
Lapikov: Berestov is a good man. A reliable one. A man, whose words and deeds are never in variance.
Klokov: Which can’t be said about someone in particular?
Lapikov: There are some people… *shrugs his shoulders*
Klokov: Whom we’ll mention later *laughs*. One more thing about Khadzhimurat that we’ve failed to mention. His famous interview that came as a bombshell. Have you read it?
Lapikov: I have.
Klokov: His criticism — of the national team, the federation, other athletes — do you agree with it? Do you think it was necessary? During his interview he said wouldn’t renounce his words. Despite being dragged through mud for it, he still stood by his words.
Lapikov: I don’t want to make comments about his words and beliefs. He’s a mature grown-up man, who has achieved a lot in his trade. It’s not the right thing to condemn his words now, saying that he could’ve softened some things, or could’ve been even more brutally honest about others.
Klokov: But has he had right to state the things he said? How much truth was there in his words?
Lapikov: Regarding what exactly?
Klokov: In general. Regarding the things he was later ostracized for.
Lapikov: I won’t judge. That was his personal choice, personal decision. He did what he considered right. And I don’t think that it would befit men to gossip about him and the things he said.
About David Rigert
Klokov: That answer would suffice. What would you say about David Rigert and the entire situation with his dismissal? I personally think that the manner he was dumped — I don’t even want to look for a more courteous term, for that’s what it was — is shameful and unacceptable, regardless of his recent efficiency at this post. And the same applies to Soltan Osmanovich Karakotov. I believe that he should’ve been given a chance to work at least until the World Championship and restore his reputation — at least out of respect for his achievements and contribution. At the Olympics only gold matters, but the criteria are slightly different at the World Championship. He should’ve been given an honorable leave. Do you agree with me on that?
Lapikov: Rigert played a very important part in my life.
Klokov: I know.
If not for Rigert, I may have never ever climbed that high.Lapikov: After my successful performances in the Junior category he called me out for the national team training, That was a transitional period. There’s no other way to move up to the adult category, unless someone like Rigert helps you out. Without such person you just go back home and keep “boiling in the same old pot”, so to say. If not for him, I may have never ever climbed that high. And regarding his dismissal…
Klokov: Let me explain why I asked about it. I was talking about Karakotov to someone one day and was told the following: “The man was used up. He gave all he had to give”. Are you with me? This is why career changes are made — why people are promoted, demoted or sent to another position. When they exhaust their potential and enthusiasm about this particular job and get used to it. This might be true, but don’t they deserve a second chance? Do they deserve to be discarded like an exhausted car part? Especially considering Rigert’s achievement or fact that Karakotov has created Women’s Weightlifting team from the scratch.
Lapikov: Rigert and Karakotov are both living legends, famous for their skill and devotion to their cause. I think that firing them, the Federation gained nothing, but lost a lot. I think it could’ve been done in a different manner. What happened was just a waste of valuable human resources.
Klokov: I absolutely agree with you. Could you name the things that you loved the most about his style of leadership, and what you hated the most?
Lapikov: He had this gift of creating a unique atmosphere in the gym. He never interfered into the athlete-coach relationship, observing and making his notes from afar. So he seemed to be away, but the moment I needed him, his advice or help — no matter what the problem was — he was there for me. And he never failed to remember a story from his personal experience — and we all know that this experience is priceless. Remember these vibes, the old-school weightlifting spirit he brought with him.
Klokov: I’m totally with you. He was capable of creating absolutely comfortable conditions for hardest work possible. He didn’t try to control your every step saying: “Don’t go there, don’t do this, it’s time to train, it’s time for a lecture, it’s time to sleep. You come 15 minutes late — off you go from the training camp”. He has put a tremendous amount of trust in us.
Lapikov: He understood that totally different people came to train for totally different reasons. And one more thing — your show’s name, “On Equal Terms”, reminded me of him. He always spoke with us, kiddos, like that, on equal terms. Although, HE had all the reasons to use his authority to tell us do this or that.
Klokov: Actually right now *checks his phone*, on July 27th the vote is under way at Shatoy web-site over the candidate for the next series of “On Equal Terms” and David Adamovich is in the lead. I will necessarily offer him to participate — I have a lot of things to ask him about and also things to tell him, to apologize for certain things. If he agrees, we won’t hesitate to post it.
Back to the question though. Perhaps, there were anything you didn’t like about him?
Lapikov: For me personally, there was no such thing. He did and meant a lot to me. I am friends with Slava, his son. I’ve been at his home, where he showed me his awards and medals — and that meant a world to me. He was my teenage idol . When I was just a kid, my father presented me his book “He, who wants, will achieve”. I was reading about these competitions as a kid and here I was — holding this very medal in my own hands. And here was this legendary man, talking to me like an equal.
Klokov: These words “on equal terms” fit him like a glove, don’t they?
Klokov: I think you’d agree that the tremendous advantages of Rigert’s management overwhelmingly compensate for whatever small flaws his style may have had.
Lapikov: For me, it’s all one huge advantage and no drawbacks at all.
Klokov: I see. *laughs*. David Adamovich is an undisputed authority in weightlifting. He was in his element and the seat of the Head Coach of the national team matched his experience, abilities, attitude. Young kids adored him and he treated them as equals. He was an internationally renowned and recognized professional. He had some weight and influence in the Ministry of Sports. I say all this to give a bit of a background to my next question. Do you consider it appropriate — and possible at all — for a man with no significant achievements in sports to head the national team? You get what I’m driving at, don’t you?
Lapikov: It is physically possible.
Klokov: I agree, though many others don’t. Besides, it is known that top athlete seldom make great coaches, and vice versa — an average sportsman, who took up coaching, may end up being one of the greatest coaches. An example of Aydar Flurovich Yarullin comes to my mind, that’s one of those people, whom I personally know. Anikanov has never qualified for International Master of Sports either, didn’t he?
Lapikov: No, but he has thrice been awarded the title of an Honoured Coach of the USSR, of the Russian Federation etc.
Klokov: Regardless…regardless of his personal achievements he has trained a great deal of World, European and Olympic Champions and prize-winners.
Lapikov: So, answering your question, yes, I consider it possible.
About Lapikov’s Positive Doping Test
Klokov: Let me be sincere now, I am referring to the current Head Coach Alexandre Venkov. I would love to have him as a guest here, I have A LOT of questions to him. He’s the head of the national team, yet I don’t know a single thing about him. I’ve known David Adamovich for so much time *waived his head in a wide arc* [17:19] and I just want to understand certain things more profoundly. As for Alexandre Venkov, I’m striving to know at least something about him. I’d love to have him as a guest.
Dimon, Wiki says that you, and I quote here, “have been tested positive and disqualified in the 105 kg event on European Championship 2011”. Could you shed some light into this story? I hope, all of our viewers understand that there is compulsory drug testing in professional sports. All the athletes went through field control before Europe and since you’ve been admitted there, it’s pretty clear that you were clean as a new pin. Otherwise you wouldn’t have been let to compete.
Lapikov: The entire situation is really…*makes a stirring gesture with his hands* [18:20]…vague. That would be an appropriate term. All of us went through the drug-tests before and after the European Championship. Then, a month later, the news come that some prohibited substance was discovered in my sample. Methylhexanamine [commonly known as 1,3-dimethylamylamine or DMAA] was the name of it.
Klokov: Methylhexanamine? What the hell is that?!
Lapikov: I started to google it. It was a component, which is often used in sports supplements [it is also known as geranium and was added to a popular pre-workout supplement Jack3d from USPlabs — it’s seems quite probable to me, that it was exactly the supplement he used]. So the allowed concentration was exceeded or something. The first thing I did was that I asked, how comes that I hadn’t tested positive before the Championship. WADA specialists explained that it was prohibited for a while, then ban was lifted, then it was banned again. And that it was OK to use it during the training, but not during the Championship. The entire situation remains totally unclear to me.
Then I started thinking, how could it enter my body at all. Then I remembered. There was one guy in our team, I’d prefer not to mention his name, who was in the USA at the moment. And I asked him to buy it for me.
Klokov: It was not legally sold in Russia.
Lapikov: It was, but it was cheaper in the U.S. So he brought me a slightly different version. He said it was the newer, enhanced version.
Klokov: Sounds veritable to me. We’ve always been quite backward in this regard in Russia, using the old stuff, that the rest of the world has denounced long time ago.
Lapikov: So I asked him, whether it was competition-approved and he said that there was nothing to worry about. So I started using it — but I’ve consulted the physician first.
Klokov: Which one?
Lapikov: National team physician.
Klokov: And he said that it was good to go?
Lapikov: He did.
THAT bloody DMAA cost me a 4-year-long banHe said that it was a harmless pre-workout drink. And THAT bloody Methylhexanamine cost me a 4-year-long disqualification.
Klokov: You’ve been sent out for 4 years?! Damn…
Lapikov: They did it as if it were anabolic steroids or something. 4 years, there you go, no muss — no fuss. It was listed among the last (least drastic) substances, and yet I was charged if I was using something straight out of the “max-bad” stuff.
Klokov: It was the maximum disqualification term?
Lapikov: For the time being, yes. One girl, who got caught on COCAINE during the same period, got half a year!
Klokov: It’s worse even from the ethical point of view.
Lapikov: Ethics aside — cocaine abuse is a crime even for regular people. For sportsmen it is utterly unacceptable. I don’t get the severity of the punishment in my case.
Klokov: If I’m not mistaken you were lifting some badass numbers at that time. Like snatching over 215?
Lapikov: Yes, I was lifting 215-251.
Klokov: Might it be a political thing? A desire to scratch you from the race, so that your foreign rivals would get a head start?
Lapikov: I got absolutely no idea why I was picked for this castigation.
Klokov: An execution.
Lapikov: An execution it was. Taking 4 years out of an athlete’s sports career is akin to dumping him as a sportsman.
Klokov: Yeah, it was a hard time to live for a year outside of sports, but four?! Man…
What about the sports authorities, the Federation? Did they support you? I’ve heard that you’ve spent a shitload of money for lawyers.
Lapikov: Yeah, these amount bit.
Klokov: Is it really that bad? Does it take millions of rubles [1 USD ≈ 33 rubles] to go through all these courts and still be founded guilty?
Lapikov: Federation backed off from the case, claiming that they have no right to engage the legal battle against the International Weightlifting Federation. *Lapikov lifts up is hands mimicking the “I-wash-my-hands” gesture, Klokov frowns* [23:46]. They said that an athlete must file the appeal to CAS personally.
Klokov: Wait a second. Don’t they have some leverage in these cases? Whose responsibility is it to represent and defend the sportsman in the first place?
Lapikov: Well I’m telling you. That’s what they told me: Federation has no right to enact legal actions against IWF.
Lapikov: There’s the Federation and there’s an athlete named Dmitry Lapikov, who was tested positive for some prohibited substance. Now he should personally file an appeal or complaint to CAS, hire lawyers from his own pocket and sue them if he wants to. Thank God I have a good friend, who sponsored me, Valeriy Mikhailovich Makarov.
Klokov: The one that booked you a restaurant?
Lapikov: Yes, among other things. A lot of help came from him during the course of my life. So he helped me to hire some renowned lawyers.
Klokov: Foreign ones?
Klokov: Is this reason they were so expensive? *laughing* What did you waste the dough for?
Lapikov: I did not regret spending the money at the moment, as long as there as a chance of settling this issue down. Before the hearing of CAS appeal, IWF reduced the disqualification term to two years.
Klokov: But you were not eligible for London anyway?
Lapikov: No. Still, I was training if I were. I’ve been told that everything’s going to be fine.
Klokov: Federation told you so?
Lapikov: Yes, there’s a man called Gerasimenko Alexandre Andreevich, he’s one of the Federation leaders. He told me that they would fight until the bitter end for me.
Klokov: What did Syrtsov [Sergey Syrtsov, head of RWF] tell you? What was his attitude to that? You’re almost peers after all. He was still an active sportsman, when your sports career was starting. Did he cheer you up?
Lapikov: Well, there was a conversation like that.
We’re all aware of the result. Two or three weeks before the London Olympics I was sent home.
Klokov: Was this the moment, when Anikanov abandoned you?
Lapikov: Sort of. When the situation emerged after the European Championship, he backed off immediately and took no part in the situation.
Klokov: When you talk, I see this sadness in your eyes and get this general impression that almost everyone has abandoned you.
Lapikov: Let bygones be bygones. It was an acid test for fair weather friends and friends indeed.
Klokov: Were there many people from the last category? Are there any of them around us, common people?
Lapikov: Most people of my social circle are really time- and trouble-tested friends.
Klokov: Ah, we should all move to Kaliningrad then. But since we’re at it, what’s your opinion of the Federation and its activities? Federation is young and you might disapprove certain things, I might disapprove, Khadzhimurat mentioned A LOT of things he disapproves.
Lapikov: It’s not for me to judge the efficiency of the entire Federation?
Klokov: Why do you say so? Is it because you’ve left the weightlifting for awhile and just preparing your comeback now?
Lapikov: Recently Venkov made a phone call to Berestov to make an inquiry about me and my plans.
Klokov: Just now?!
Lapikov: Take it easy. I’ve been at the training camp for, what, two…three weeks now. At least I see his intention to bring me back to the national team step by step.
As for the Federation itself, I think that its goal is to create the best training conditions possible. It is know that athlete’s career is short, so the Federation — as I see it — must strive to make it last as long as possible, to create the most favorable environment
Klokov: Increase his productivity? To help him?
Lapikov: Yes. To let everyone train on equal grounds.
Klokov: Is it not so at the moment?
Lapikov: Well, like you’ve put it with Khadzimurat, it is as if the national team is being created from the scratch.
Klokov: So you do think the same?
It’s training despite all the circumstances, rather than training in the most favorable environmentLapikov: Judging by my personal experience, by the fact that some athletes train at their own expense, by the fact that other renowned, not injured and active athletes are not invited at all…It is training despite all the circumstances, rather than training in the most favorable environment. I think that generation change is a natural thing to happen…
*Klokov and Lapikov in unison*: But not like that.
Klokov: It is for the weightlifting platform to judge — then it would be fair and logical.
Lapikov: Provide equal-grounds training and the platform will resolve all the questions. It is weird to see how champions are being consigned to oblivion as they’ve just disappeared or have never existed.
Klokov: That’s it. Between this moment, when you’ve disappeared after the CAS hearing and it was clear that you’re not coming to London, and Venkov’s call that you’ve mentioned — it was 11 months between them, isn’t it? — has anyone called from the Federation? Have they asked how you’ve been doing and what you’ve been up to?
Lapikov: I, personally, got no calls whatsoever.
Klokov: But did they approach or contact your coaches?
Lapikov: I know that they called Rudik and asked him about my plans. I was training for the latest Russian Championship, but had to abstain from participation due to certain circumstances. I sense some interest of the head coach directed at me and it is a pleasant thing to know. It helps me thinking that it’s not that bad.
Klokov: Look, the Federation does a lot of things to promote the sports: they develop web-sites, organize tournaments. What’s your take on weightlifting promotion? Or perhaps you’d like to highlight some of the existing activities, which you consider the most helpful? Federation might think that I’m wasting my time for nothing, and I think that President’s Cup was a mess — especially at that cost. What do you think?
Lapikov: Well, I think that President’s Cup serves a worthy purpose, but the methods and expenses are killing the original concept.
Klokov: I don’t question the usefulness of such tournaments. They’re necessary, they’re cool, my father was doing the same. The difference was that my dad paid for them out of his own pocket and they [Federation] make the state pay for it. Or, perhaps, finance it through sponsorships; but in spite of having a great deal of the announced sponsors I barely see, where their contributions go. We need the tournament for sure, but, perhaps, we should downscale it bit, curb the appetite?
Lapikov: I don’t know the exact cost of it…
Klokov: I’ll tell you later *laughs* [34:45] We’ll make a director’s cut.
Lapikov: Frankly speaking, your initiatives — YT channel, these interviews, TV appearances, show biz — really rise a response within me. This is a real-life, down-to-earth promotion. You can immediately see the result. People identify you, Dmitry Klokov the Olympic prize-winner, renowned athlete with your sport and the sport itself, instantly becomes something they can relate to.
Klokov: Yes, it’s important that you don’t turn into celebrity that’s famous for being famous, it’s important that the link between you and the sports remains. Like the other time when people approached me in the restaurant — you’ve witnessed this, Dima — and asked whether I was the weightlifter Dmitry Klokov. THE WEIGHTLIFTER Dmitry Klokov, they’ve emphasized this. And I was like “Yeah, you know, I am him”.
Lapikov: That’s true. And this fame, it grows like an avalanche and, if directed properly, it can bring some real change. But it’s also important to unite the efforts, not to try to pull the entire blanket on yourself. Remember Soviet Union and the popularity of weightlifting at that epoch, all the flag-bearers at the Olympics.
Klokov: Oh, speaking of the flag-bearers…That actually reminded me — I was offered to carry the Russian flag at the opening ceremony in London.
Klokov: Yeah, they’ve called me 20 days before the Games or so and offered this opportunity. But I couldn’t think of anything other than the Olympic gold and my battle against Khadzhimurat at the moment, so I’ve turned the offer down. Because it meant interrupting the training earlier, distracting myself in order to come to London earlier. It would be a waste of time and efforts.
Lapikov: Its’s exhausting, yes.
Klokov: Exhausting and useless in terms of my primary goal. And afterwards, when it became crystal clear that under no circumstances I’m not going to compete, I thought: “Damn, at least I could’ve carried the bloody flag!” That was a good Soviet tradition though. Everyone knew that the flag-bearer was a weightlifter.
Lapikov: Indeed, the super heavyweights going at the head of the column like an armored battleship.
But it seems that at least this tradition is going to be restored. This proposal they had made you speaks in favour of that. And mind the recent Universiade. Who was the flag-bearer?
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Lapikov: No, Dmitry Khomyakov from 77 kg category.
Klokov: Oh did he?! Did Demanov refuse?
Lapikov: Apparently he did.
Klokov: Maybe he just wanted to win there and was afraid of the emotional exhaustion?
Lapikov: Don’t know. But this back-to-roots move seems to be a result of Federation’s efforts.
Klokov: I hope it is. I’m not fighting against anyone. On the contrary, I want every weightlifter to work together for a common cause. But that seems to be a unilateral rush. For instance, I’ve never been invited to a RIA Novosti [Russian information agency] press-conference, although I live in Moscow and pass their office almost on a daily basis.
A question from the YT-channel viewers: are you going to quit weightlifting?
Lapikov: No, under no circumstances. If my health condition allows…I have certain goals and plans, I feel liabilities for my friends and relatives. My pre-Olympic shape gives me confidence. And leaving weightlifting like that, with my ass kicked, is the last thing on my mind.
Klokov: So we might find ourselves in the same situation as Rigert and Karakotov — unwilling to leave with tail between the legs, but powerless to change the situation, right? I, too, hope to leave with style.
Lapikov: And to serve Mother Russia a bit more, since that’s our primary duty and occupation right now. I give everything I have for this purpose and just hope to get some support in return.
Klokov: So the entire London thing hasn’t broken you, and neither have you injuries.
Lapikov: No, I’m not going to quit.
Klokov: *looks into camera and wags his finger* Dmitry Lapikov is not going to quit, mind you. [40:10]
I’m glad that you’ve overcome all the straits that befell you and I’d like to wish you luck. How’s your health by the way? Do any injuries bother you?
Lapikov: Everything’s fine.
Training Camp Chekhov
Klokov: Speaking with Khadzhimurat, we’ve discussed the training camps and he dubbed the Chekhov camp, where we are now, the worst. You’d disagree with that, I believe?
Lapikov: I cannot disagree more about the Chekhov facilities.
Klokov: I’ve expected that.
Lapikov: There are memories connected with each of them.
Klokov: Well, let’s drop the subject of the worst camps. Can you call it the best one then?
Lapikov: Best of all the existing ones?
Klokov: Of those, where training goes on.
Lapikov: Provided that certain changes are made, it could have been the best.
Klokov: What changes namely?
Lapikov: Meals, for instance?
Klokov: You don’t like them *sounds surprised*?
Klokov: You don’t like the quality of food or the portion size?
Klokov: Is the portion size not the only thing that matters for a heavyweight? *laughs* [41:52]
Lapikov: It’d be great if the medical centre was better equipped?
Klokov: Better equipped?! The bloody thing virtually doesn’t exist. There’s not a goddamn thing there. I had a sore back once, I came there and they gave me some plasticky electronic device that was supposed to heal me. My iPhone charger would’ve done a better job. Food’s fine if you ask me — but I don’t eat much.
Lapikov: Neither was I when I was in the 105 kg category. But medical centre needs more attention. I like the one in Sochi.
Klokov: No wonder…
Lapikov: If they could’ve done the same thing here. I hope the new leadership, this fresh blood, will bring the Chekhov facility to perfection.
Klokov: What would you like to do after you quit (ideally)? And are going to stay around weightlifting?
Lapikov: I have no specific plans for now. That’d be really great to stay useful. I’d love to help the younger generations of weightlifters — be it in Kaliningrad or outside of it.
Klokov: Godspeed! Unfortunately, few people are like that. My father did a lot, he built a weightlifting academy, organized tournaments — that was his contribution, his tribute to the sport he loved. So I understand and respect your intention, I hope it comes true.
*Lapikov shifts uneasily* [44:56]
Klokov: Wow-wow, don’t get tense again. Whom would you call the greatest weightlifter of all times?
Lapikov: Only one name comes to my mind — David Adamovich Rigert.
Klokov: Well, the IWF-issued certificate “The best athlete of the century” proves your point.
Lapikov: But even regardless of that, this is my opinion.
Klokov: If you had an opportunity to speak with any person that has ever walked the Earth, who would it be? Is there such person?
Klokov: Who is it? Dmitry Klokov? *both laugh* [46:23]
Lapikov: With Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin?
Klokov: Really? Not with guys like Alexander the Great?
Lapikov: Oh, during the entire history?
Klokov: Come on, yeah. Any person that ever lived.
Lapikov: Need to think about it.
Klokov: What’s the first thing that come to mind?
Lapikov: Seriously, I don’t know. What about you? We speak on equal terms, right? So I’m directing this question back at you.
Klokov: That’s a tough question. I remember, I’ve asked you a similar question a couple of days ago, during the training. The question was “What would you ask Vladimir Vladimirovich — Putin, not Pozner [host of late night political shows] — if you had but one question?” I would ask if they, the top politicians, ever get ill. Because they’re always under the cameras, and I don’t remember a single time seeing them sneezing or sniffling. So that’s what I would ask.
Lapikov: You’d ask for a recipe?
Klokov: Sure, what are they on! Definitely something stronger than sparkling water.
Another question from the viewers. They’ve been asking how did you gain the weight? Because you’ve gained 31 kg within one and a half a year. I’m not talking about your current shape — but before London all of your weight was functional, it worked for, not against you. What was your diet, how did you achieve it?
Lapikov: Well, the first thing I did, I’ve started studying bodybuilding magazines page by page, looking for nutrition plans. Which were quite crazy, I’ll tell you that, like “Day 1. Breakfast. 30 eggs” *laughs* I was filling myself with protein shakes. Until I realized that it was in contradiction with how I felt inside, with my needs and wishes. And in 2-3 months I’ve came to the following motto: “Eat what you like at this particular moment, not what the nutrition plan tells you”. I seek harmony with myself and not to concentrate on how I look. Think about Koklyaev.
Klokov: Misha looks like he looks for a reason. He eats so he could lift a lot. His main goal is to lift more, not to look bigger. Is that your point? I look pumped and ripped because of the show biz laws mostly, it doesn’t help with weightlifting. Which is why I have a certain diet and don’t eat my head off. But beware that such a diet might have an impact on your numbers.
Koklyaev always says that you have to be a beast in the gym and at the dinner table.Lapikov: Quite so. Well, Koklyaev always says that you have to be a beast in the gym and at the dinner table. I can’t say “Don’t do that”. If you want to…
Klokov: To be the beast!
Lapikov: If you want to — do it! If you want to look ripped like Dmitry Klokov, you better ask him. So I was trying to eat what I wanted, my goal was to get functional weight, not just water and fat, so that I could’ve steeped on the scale and praise myself “Here you go! 150!” So I’ve boosted my weight up to 136 and looked like…
Klokov: You were quite a looker, I’d give you that! People, who write “Lapikov got fat” apparently don’t understand that you haven’t trained properly for 11 months and it had its toll.
Lapikov: But you shouldn’t worry. I’ll get into shape.
Klokov: So you’re going to adjust your body to your way of thinking. Finally, what’s your opinion to Shatoy web-site?
Lapikov: Well, I’m not like Khadzhimurat, I don’t have a special person to register me there.
Klokov: You’ve got it wrong. He has a special person TO POST THERE on his behalf.
Lapikov: All right. Anyway I’m not much into these online discussions, but I think that it has both advantages and drawbacks. It certainly helps to promote weightlifting in general. And there’s a lot of useful information there.
Klokov: Indeed. Even before I started doing these interviews I’ve realized that I was getting the hottest news from there.
Lapikov: When I was on this forced vacation, I also never failed to get the necessary information there. The flaw are probably the forum discussions. A lot of people, who probably lift, but have no idea about the actual situation — yet they come out with the sharpest and most caustic criticism. This kind of laymen criticism is simultaneously funny and deceiving. And also the lifespan of hot news and new heroes is really short there. Their slogan must be “The king is dead! Long live the king!” But apparently it’s a good way of getting feedback. Dima…
Klokov: No-no-no. No “Dima”. I will create an account for you there. I’ll be your special man, who will write there on your behalf.
Lapikov: So you can ask Dmitry questions there.
Klokov: Long story short. You ask me there, I respond on my YouTube channel or make a video like this one — “Teaching Dmitry Lapikov to speak on camera 101”
Let me remind you, that we had with Beijing bronze medalist, twice World Champion (2006 and 2009), five times Russian Champion and five times national record holder, Honoured Master of Sports — Lapikov Dmitry Valentinovich. We did our best and I hope you enjoy it.
Lapikov: Good luck and stay healthy!
Evgeny Filatov says
I am currently translating Part 1 of the interview. Stay tuned.
Evgeny Filatov says
Complete interview transcription sent to Gregor. I’ll answer any questions about parts of interview that may be unclear. I hope you guys enjoy this.
Thanks for this. It must have been time consuming. Very appreciated.
Evgeny Filatov says
Thank you Kirill for corrections and additions.
Thank you, Evgeny, for translating. These are awesome to read! Your efforts are very much appreciated.
Very nice! cant wait for part 2:)
Awesom site mate!! Much appreciated by every lifter no matter how big or small. Keep up the good work. Thank you.
Monica Licursi says
Evgeny Filatov, Congratulations for the great job. Much appreciated!