His contribution to the Russian and world volleyball community is very large. Let’s see once again his previous appearances at the Olympic Games.
ATLANTA (1996) – He had a debut at the Olympic Games, 20 years ago in Atlanta. He was a young player with a role of reserve receiver. Sergey took part in 6 out of 8 matches. At the end, Russia ended in the fourth place after losing the bronze medal match against Yugoslavia.
“It was a miracle really. I played at the Olympic Games with 20 years. I was thrilled really, sawing so many famous athletes, actors, politicians. I was not worried about the result. When you are young, sitting on the bench, that’s why you don’t think about it” says Tetyukhin.
SYDNEY (2000) – Four years after the Olympics, Tetyukhin got much more space on the court. Along with Roman Yakovlev and Igor Shulepov, they were really good attacking trio. In the quarterfinal match against Cuba, he was replaced by Ilya Savelyev, while in the semis against Argentina, he started as a reserve. But, in the final match, he returned into the starting line-up and became the most productive player of the Russian team. Unfortunately for the Russian fans, Yugoslavia beat them in the final and took the gold medal. Tetyukhin couldn’t control his emotions. As he was so disappointed, he started crying…
“Perhaps, this is the most humiliating defeat in my career. We underestimated the opponent and they played with more character, fighting for every ball. We went out to play the game overconfident and paid the price. That defeat is a pain in the heart for a lifetime” says Tetyukhin.
ATHENS (2004) – Sergey Tetyukhin was a leading receiver of the Russian national team in Athens. He played all matches in starting line-up. He was the top scorer of the team for several times. Russia managed to take bronze after defeating USA in straight sets.
“Our game suddenly fell apart in the semifinals. Italians really played very good, we couldn’t do anything. Bronze was the most that we could do in those moments” says Tetyukhin.
BEIJING (2008) – As a 32-year old player, he was the key member on the court. Maxim Mikhailov was the player who took the role of the best scorer of the team. But, Tetyukhin was a guy who completed the most important actions, attacking and scoring from very difficult situations. Setter was sending the ball to Tetyukhin when Russia was in difficult situations. Russia again won the bronze medal, under the leadership of Vladimir Alekno. In the semifinals, USA led by Lloy Ball and Clayton Stanley beat the Russians, while Alekno’s side beat Italy in a bronze medal match. Afterwards, Americans won the gold.
“The team was brilliantly prepared for the Olympic Games in Beijing. We had some tough opponents. We spent most of time thinking about the Brazilians, how to beat them etc. But, Americans unexpectedly defeated us in semis” says Tetyukhin.
LONDON (2012) – Tetyukhin didn’t play for the national team for two seasons and he returned to play for Russia at the World Cup 2011. He almost lost his chance to play at the Olympics, because Sergey was diagnosed with a heart disease – arrhythmia. Medical experts forbidden him to train and he was in difficult situation. But after all, coaching staff gave him the opportunity to play for Russia in London. In a group stage match against USA, his contribution was large! Russians created huge comeback, from 0-2 to 3-2. Sergey scored 21 points as a 36-year old player.
The final game against Brazil was one of the best final matches in volleyball history. Brazil had 2-0 lead and 22-19 in the third set, but the gold medal slipped away somehow. Who’s guilty? Tetyukhin of course. With stunning serves, he managed to reduce the rival’s lead. The rest is a history…
In his 5th attempt, Tetyukhin finally won the gold!
“Honestly, If I were Alekno, I would not take Tetyukhin to the Olympics in London. Because, I was not ready, it was obvious. But, what could I say. Alekno risked. In our circle about these coaches usually say, “He had a “чуйка”” says Tetyukhin.
“чуйка” (means like he had a good feeling or it was a brave move)””
RIO (2016) – Tetykhin will play his sixth Olympic Games. He will also be a flag-bearer, and that’ a huge honor for this Russian legendary player.
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