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tBBC Ten Questions With Vladimir Nazlymov


Ten Questions With Vladimir Nazlymov
via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


(Image courtesy fencersofthecorn.org)

I am honored to have this week’s participate in Ten Questions Vladimir Nazlymov the Head Coach of The Ohio State University’s Fencing Program. Coach Nazlymov is a World Class – well accomplished fencer in his own right. With his expertise he has brought the Buckeyes into the fold of NCAA Champions and a team to take quite seriously each year. Twice tBBC has written about this wondrous program that we all should take more notice of.

You have quite a history – what inspired you to accept the job as the Head Coach of the Fencing Program at The Ohio State University?

Mostly because of Archie Griffin. I had a strong and successful club in Kansas City. I wasn’t looking for a new job. True, he showed me around campus, at facilities for many different sports. Showed me how impressive and big the sports program was at Ohio State. But it was this man that made the difference. He explained to me that OSU was going to have the best program, with or without me. And I realized during my time with him that while this was one of the biggest Athletic Departments… it felt like a small family, and that felt good. My decision to come to Columbus surprised everyone, including myself.

You are a very accomplished athlete. As a fencer you are a three-time Gold medalist (’68, ’76, ’80) a Silver Medalist (’72) and an individual Silver and Bronze Medalist (Silver ’76 – Bronze ’72). You are also a 10-time World Champion, two of which are individual crowns (’75, ’79). Twice you were named the World’s best Sabre fencer by F.I.E. Is there any one of these achievements, or one in which I failed to mention, that you are most proud of?

The most important Gold Medals for me have always been the Team events more than the Individual events. The team was always more important to me, than what I was doing for myself. Of course I wanted (needed) to be the best in the world, but I had more to give when I was fighting for my friends.

Your Coaching career is as impressive. You began in Moscow as the Head Coach of the Soviet Union Military Fencing team, also serving as the Coach of the USSR National Team. Once in the USA you served as the sabre coach for the US National team, for the US at the Pan Am Games, and the Senior World Championship. Now at The Ohio State University you brought Buckeye Nation an NCAA Championship in 2004, 2008 and 2012. I wonder if there is one place you feel you accomplished the most as a teacher (coach) or is it presumptuous of me to assume such a place exists in your mind?

Each new coaching job, and city, and country, and team has been a new step in my life. Each step in this path has been a new test for me. I am proud of how I have met each new challenge, including what mistakes that I have learned from, along the way. It is all of these places and coaching jobs that make me who I am.

Back in the June 1, 1992 edition of Sports Illustrated they ran an article on your journey and your amazing decision to turn down prestigious offers from national teams to teach an inner-city school in Kansas City – can you share with us the process of that decision?

I met with several top people from the New York Athletic Club, and didn’t fully understand all that was being offered. They already had a coach, and I didn’t want him to be fired. I explained that I didn’t want to be responsible for somebody else losing their job. It would be different if they needed to fill a position that was already empty. I knew that I would be successful anywhere. Instead, I worked with some incredible fencers that also became very good coaches. I am glad that I made this mistake. I am glad for the way things are, but I do sometimes think about it.

I believe that everyone associated with The Ohio State University, student, teacher, coach, or any employee, regardless of their position, has that special spot on campus they yearn to escape to for either personal quiet time or even positive interaction – do you have such a spot, and if so – where is it?

When I want to get away and relax, or I just need some time to think… there is only one place I go. I go to the fencing gym and give lessons. I can always find someone that wants a lesson.

Many may not know you are actually an internationally ranked referee (Category A) officiating in the ’88 Olympics and several World Championships. How intense and involved are such responsibilities?

Being a referee is not an easy job. You must be a very strong, and correct, person. You cannot have a strong national team if you do not also have good referees. They are like security, and provide a stability that is very necessary. I did not want to have this job, but my country insisted.

Who is your favorite Ohio State athlete of all-time – it can be anyone from any era?

Absolutely Archie Griffin! As a man. As an athlete. When I think of Ohio State University, I think of Archie Griffin. I would like to add that there are many from which to choose, and they are all impressive. They all impress me with their ability to be champions in every step of their lives, from athlete to coach or business person.

Can you educate us novice fencing fans what is Foil, Epée, and Sabre?

Historically… we have three weapons, with the intention of learning all three. Each weapon would teach a different aspect of sword fighting and it was the mastery of all three that made you a swordsman. As a sport, it became clear that each weapon was better suited to a different personality and style. Over time these weapons developed into their own game with their own set of rules, based on their “historical” lesson. It is the difference between Zorro or a Musketeer, and a Pirate or Cavalry-man. The weapon chooses the fencer, so to speak.

Please share with us about Fencing Alliance of Ohio?

This is my private club that I run here in Columbus. I have students that are as young as 6 years old, all the way to 50 years of age. It is something that I do for fun and as support for the community that I am happy to be part of.

Please tell your fellow Buckeyes what you love about The Ohio State University and what it means to you to be a Buckeye?

To be a Buckeye, is to be part of a family. Whether you are a new student or old alumni, a facility worker, a teacher, a coach… This is family!

I would like to thank Coach Nazlymov for the time he took out of his busy schedule, which included a current run towards the NCAA Championships, to answer my Ten Questions. It is always a joy to see a little of the personal side of a great Buckeye – but it is always even a little “nicer” knowing that such an accomplished man of his sport is humble enough to share his thoughts with his fans. I enjoyed this week’s preparation and am grateful for the time allowed me. I hope that Coach Nazlymov will stay in touch with us here at tBBC to give us any insight or share any thoughts that he desires. It’s always nice hearing from the head honcho and I know that I will be watching The Ohio State University’s Fencing Program.

The post Ten Questions With Vladimir Nazlymov appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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