Andrei Kulyk, the American Nicaraguan School’s Athletic Director, won two silver medals at 18th FINA World Championship. The event was held in Gwangju, South Korea, between July 12th and July 28th of this year.
Kulyk performed exceedingly well. He won a silver medal in the 50 meters breaststroke competition, and a silver medal in the 50 meters freestyle competition. The championship had over 5,000 athletes from all over the world. Kulyk participated in the 45-49 age group. On the first day of the championship, he competed in the 50 meters butterfly competition. He came in fourth place.
“It is not my race, so I am happy with this result,” says Kulyk. “It was like an ice-breaker for me… I just enjoyed it.”
Even in his most casual race, Kulyk still placed impressively high.
“The second day, I swam the 50 meter freestyle race. I placed second with one of my best times of the last five years. And on the last day of the competition I swam my best race: 50 meters breaststroke. I won silver. Although I could win first place, I am happy with my results”
He is remarkably humble, given that despite his accomplishments, he claims: “that is not a victory.”
Moreover, the competition was an opportunity to travel. Kulyk spent time in South Korea for the competition, and then traveled to China for a week, visiting Shanghai and Beijing.
“This was a competition, and it had a great atmosphere of sportsmanship. It had an element of competition and rivalry, but it was not as tough as other world championship,” says Kulyk. “It wasn’t about money, because we all participated, we all traveled. It is about friendship and participation, as well as discovering new places.”
He concludes: “I am a coach, but in my heart, I am always an athlete. I will be so until I die.”