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‘You have to sacrifice everyone for the Olympics’

Beijing 2008 silver medalist Nikita Lobintsev has given up on all of his girlfriends in order to help the Russian swimming team battle for relay gold in London 2012.

­Nikita Lobintsev made a name for himself when he was part of the 4x200 meter relay team that won silver at the Beijing Olympics.

Since then, he’s racked up a bunch of medals at both the European and World Championships, making him one of Russia’s bright stars in swimming.

But Nikita admits the upcoming games in London are a far different prospect than those in Beijing in 2008.

“This time round everything is different, because I’m 23 years old now, not 19, and my whole approach to the sport has changed,”
he told RT. “I’ve become more professional, started watching my diet, do additional training in the gym, etc. and expectation is much higher now than four years ago. Honestly, it’s much harder now.”

That’s not to say Nikita shies away from hard work. He believes a good start to the day can make any daunting task seem like fun.

“The main goal is to complete all the tasks you set out and a lot depends on how you begin your day, how you started it; you need to get up in a good mood, train well and enjoy yourself while doing it and then you can sleep with a sound conscience! But it’s all about the start,” the swimmer explained.

Despite the insanely arduous training sessions, that pretty much every aspiring Olympic champion has to go through nowadays, Nikita has had every day in the run-up to the Olympics meticulously planned out, which leaves little time for much else.

“He has a lot of girlfriends, but so far he hasn’t introduced us to any of them,”
Valentina Lobintseva, the swimmer’s mother, said. “When he finds the right girl, I’m sure he’ll give us the opportunity to meet her, but for now, he’s only got eyes for the Olympics.”

And it seems both mother and son see eye to eye this particular issue.

“Right now, I guess you could say I don’t have a social life,”
Lobintsev said. “You have to sacrifice everyone for the sake of the Olympics. I do have one free day a week, where I can take my mind off swimming. I like to hang out with friends, drive my car around. It’s difficult, but I’ll rest once I’ve accomplished what I’ve set out to do.”

Nikita qualified for the London Olympics after clinching silver at Russia’s National Championships.

He will now be competing in the men’s 100-meter freestyle event, as well as the 4 by 100-meter and 4 by 200-meter relay events.

“If we just look at our 100-meter swimmers, you can see that four of them have posted times that are in the Top 10 best results this year and I believe it’s a great relay team that can challenge for gold at the Olympics,”
the swimmer stated.

The pressure is on for Nikita Lobintsev to perform well at the games and many will be hoping he gets out of bed on the right side when he wakes up in London.