Birthdate: April 4, 1984
Hometown: Vorkuta, Russia
Now Resides: Gainesville, FL
Coach: Gregg Troy
Russian-born Arkady Vyatchanin is a two-time Olympic medalist, having bronze in both the 100 and 200meter backstrokes at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Vyatchanin, who now trains with Gregg Troy at Gator Swim Club at the University of Florida, hopes to share the knowledge and skills that led to Olympic and World Championship medals with young swimmers.
“I'm interested in showing my backstroke skills,” he explains, “sharing my vision of the stroke as a whole, but concentrating on the things that I do best. That includes powerful and efficient starts/push-offs/underwaters, catching the first stroke during the breakouts, stroke balance/connectivity, maintaining inner cycle speed and race strategy.”
Vyatchanin also aims to show young swimmers drills that will engage their core strength and allow them to develop a better sense of balance and connectivity in the water, as well as how best to implement the power developed during weightlifting and dryland exercises in the water.
As a relative late bloomer, Vyatchanin feels he can offer “a fresh perspective on the stroke I like so much.” He feels especially drawn to swimmers who are 14-15 years old and on the cusp between junior and senior level. “I like this age in particular,” he explains, “because I want these kids to realize their potential earlier than I did. I think that at this age they're especially looking for a direction in their lives, looking for advice from someone other than their parents, everyday coach or teacher.”
But ultimately, he loves working with any athlete who views swimming as their true passion.
“I'd ask swimmers to remember that hard work always pays off as long as they are being honest with themselve and like what they're doing,” Vyatchanin says. “Also, constant attention to details is a major key to success.”