Yesterday in Lugansk opened a memorial board to the deserved master of sports of the USSR on Greco-Roman wrestling S.K.Ropayeva
In the middle of last century Stepan Ropayev quite fairly was considered as the best Greco-Roman wrestling coach of Lugansk (Voroshilovgrad). He repeatedly became the champion and the prize-winner of superiority of the USSR, the winner of the international meetings, and after – began to pass on the experience to pupils, having prepared the whole group of wrestlers.
It should be noted that about this well-known master there isn't enough information in Worldwide Network. Besides, some sources also incorrectly specify its surname. Those articles and notes which wrote the Soviet mass media about Stepan Kuzmich, in the press left long ago, and they can be found only on library shelves. The person as though got lost in the history … Therefore we also decided to tell to contemporaries about the legendary wrestler and trainer Stepan Ropayev. Certainly, article wouldn't be full without participation of the son and Ropayev's daughter – Sergey Stepanovich and Tatyana Stepanovna. They live nowadays willows the different cities, but recently, having visited our regional center, visited edition of "Our newspaper", told a lot of interesting about the father and provided a number of documents and pictures.
– The matter is that us invited to Lugansk to opening of the memorial plate to Stepan Ropayev which had to take place in LOVUFK, – they told. – However on the eve of the appointed date at competitions there was a tragedy, and action decided to postpone to June 7.
So, what person was that magnificent master whom still yours faithfully remember many Lugansk (and not only) wrestlers?
Stepan Kuzmich Ropayev was born on January 2, 1915 in a country family. Place of its birth – Efremo-Stepanovk's village of the Kolushkinsky region of the Rostov region. His father, the Don Cossack, was missing even during Civil war.
Ropayev moved to Lugansk in 15 years, here and ended five classes of evening high school (1935). Since 1931 I worked in the local hairdressing salon "Railway Red Cross", at first – the pupil of the hairdresser, and soon I began to cut people independently.
Same year started going in for sports in section of all-physical preparation of club of a name of Parkhomenko. And I began with run and other types of track and field athletics. But then, having looked at wrestlinging young athletes, I understood that trainings without single combats don't give it such satisfaction.
The daughter, Tatyana Stepanovna tells it:
– He told me: "To run also I see how wrestlers train. So I liked these duels, a condition of rivalry. And then I approached to the trainer and I asked it to take to myself in wrestling section".
He began to be engaged under the leadership of known Lugansk trainer Grigory Zhbanov. I debuted at competitions in 1936 in the recreation park opening day of Gorky (Kamennobrodsky area of the regional center). The trainer suggested the beginning wrestler to meet on a carpet the wrestler first-rank sportsman Ulanovsky. On this tournament more skilled wrestler rather easily overcame Ropayev. That was going to leave, but it was stopped by an iron hand of the trainer. The instructor admitted to the pupil that specially arranged this meeting. Also I emphasized that itself as began, and this duel of anything, except advantage, to Stepan won't bring.
– Ulanovsky not such and the serious opponent, – spoke Jugs. – You have fine opportunity to win and it, and other wrestlers. But it is necessary to seize wrestling secrets, to study and train … To gain experience on victories and defeats.
The new stage of intense trainings began: working off of throws, power exercises, sparrings. The young wrestler surely gathered a form.
But soon it was necessary to leave the Lugansk earth. Stepan Ropayev was called in Navy and till 1942 served in Sevastopol on the military cruiser "Ukra§na Is Red". He decided to continue trainings at the first opportunity, in what that didn't become.
Stepan was distinguished from mighty giants sailors with a harmonous constitution. When colleagues learned that he was engaged in wrestling, one of them derisively told that "will sew" it to the deck. The rival too was engaged in wrestling earlier, however Ropayev won against it wrestling within several seconds.
– Well and hands at you! – the won exclaimed.
After that the rumor about the talented wrestler quickly flew about the ships of the Black Sea fleet, and here in 1937 Ropayev participated in competitions among the serving BSF and took the second place in the weight category.
In a year on similar tournament it becomes already the first, and as a part of a national team of the BSF goes on superiority of Armed forces of the USSR where wins first place, having brought thereby a big contribution in a general victory of the team. It is remarkable that on this tournament the chief judge of competitions the Marshal of the Soviet Union Simeon Budyonny handed over to winners diplomas. As prizes Ropayev got a gun and a record player.
– Hunting – one of the most favourite hobbies of the father, – tells it the daughter. – It often left on the nature with this prize gun "IZh", even these pictures remained with us.
In 1942 during war Ropayev got wound, and its cruiser "Ukra§na Is Red" was sunk by enemies. According to the son and the daughter, Stepan Kuzmich rescued, and it with a severe wound was delivered in hospital. Then many said that he won't be able to speak at competitions any more.
– It had a fragmental wound in waist area, and doctors directly told that it prepared for a wheelchair, – Sergey Ropayev speaks. – But, as it possessed a wrestling spirit, again started trainings and even continued military service.
From 1942 to 1946 Stepan Ropayev served on the battle ship "Sevastopol" as the senior sailor. After that worked in Lugansk regional council of "Dynamo" as the wrestling coach. From 1947 to 1954 – the trainer in regular team of committee on physical culture and sport at Council of ministers of the USSR. As a part of a national team of the USSR on wrestling repeatedly I went abroad: in 1950 to Finland, 1951 – to Czechoslovakia and Hungary, in 1953 – to Italy.
– The matter is that before war the Soviet wrestlers at all didn't speak at the World Cups (the policy was such), – Sergey Ropayev tells. – And only in the early fifties the country leaders set the task to make teams from the best wrestlers of the Union (including rehabilitated "enemies of the people" and others who served sentence in imprisonment places) and to hold the international tournaments, and after and departure of teams on the World Cups and Europe. The first time our wrestlers left on superiority of the world only in 1953 – this tournament took place in Italy, and the father went in a line-up, but was in a stock, on a carpet it didn't let out. There was an interesting case. It is known that at that time sports were amateur, and on a question what a profession at you, having heard the answer "the ladies' hairdresser", nobody trusted. And after the statement that the hairdresser so can't wrestling, brought the tool and asked the father to make a hairstyle to the woman. Only after completion of work over a hairdress, the question was removed.
"The central committee of our party set the task of athletes – to win in the next years the first places in the world on leading sports, – Stepan Kuzmich in the autobiography wrote. – Carrying out the decree, the Soviet wrestlers held many international meetings and achieved good results. The first meeting of the USSR-Finland took place in Moscow in 1950 and came to the end with a victory of the Soviet athletes with the score 14:2. With reciprocal visit the Soviet delegation as a part of 24 people in October, 1950 left to Finland. Both meetings of wrestlers took place in the capital of the country of Helsinki and came to the end with the identical score 7:1 in favor of the USSR. Other meetings: USSR-Czechoslovakia 15:1, Ukraine-Czechoslovakia 8:0, Georgia-Czechoslovakia 7:1".
Further competitions with wrestlers from other countries in which Ropayev took part, also came to an end with a victory of the Soviet national teams.
In 1951 Stepan Kuzmich was entitled "The deserved master of sports of the USSR", in 1965 – "The deserved trainer of USSR", and in 1979 – became the judge of all-Union category.
Since 1954 I worked as the coach on wrestling of Voroshilovgrad sports school of youth, in 1969 it was transferred by the trainer to regional council of VDSO "Manpower reserves" where worked before leaving on pension in 1975.
For sports life Stepan Ropayev had many extraordinary duels. But meetings with ZMS USSR Artem Nazaryan in 1938 in Kharkov were most interesting during command championship of the USSR in Greco-Roman wrestling. The Artem Nazaryan staying then at the peak of sports glory, didn't see in the young seaman of the serious rival, and safely rushed to attack. But, having encountered the strongest resistance, I turned into defense and only thanks to insignificant advantage on points I could win this duel. Remembering words of the trainer about experience of victories and defeats, Ropayev in a year on personal championship of the country in Greco-Roman wrestling came to a carpet against the same rival and took a revenge.
In Ropayev's family the father was exacting, but at the same time the wife and children treated very kindly.
– We in a family had a warm, friendly situation, – Tatyana Stepanovna tells. – The father always for us was an example for imitation: hardworking, responsible, careful. Besides, the very cheerful.
As the real seaman, he was very clean and when it was necessary to tidy up in the house, surely attracted to it and us, and it carried out all this in the form of game, under music, and it was never boring for us to do it.
Tells Elbrus Tsakhoyev, the master of sports of the international class on the free-style and Greco-Roman wrestling, the deserved trainer of Ukraine:
– Stepan Kuzmich had a remarkable Victory car, and it often gave a lift to us home. And even if we refused and said that we will go on foot, it almost force put us in the car.
Lyubov Ropayev to sports was transferred also to children. His daughter since the childhood went in for gymnastics.
– The father brought me into gymnastics section in Zarya club, – Tatyana Stepanovna tells. – I executed the standard of the first category, then arrived in Voroshilovgrad teacher's college (nowadays LNU) on physical education faculty then got a job in Stakhanov regional medical school the teacher of physical training where 30 years work till today. Also at one time I worked as the gymnastics coach in Bryanka.
I love the profession and is grateful to the father that he with the brother gave us in respect of the relation to life very much, imparted love to sports. It always for me was authority, and I did everything with caution on how the father will react to it.
Ropayev, Sergey Stepanovich's son, in the beginning too was engaged in wrestling, and then was compelled to go to other republic.
– I literally grew on a wrestling mat, since the early childhood was in the sports hall, – he tells. – The father at that time already finished performances and began to be engaged in trainer's activity. From the senior generation of wrestlers of Luganshchina it is difficult to find the person who wouldn't train at it. Pupils at the father was much: Nikolay Stavrinov, Evgeny Zubkovsky, Yury Degtyaryov and many others. Now their pupils already work as trainers. To me said that my manner of wrestling very much reminds the father. Though in wrestling I such successes as he, didn't achieve.
Sergey Ropayev won some junior tournaments (city and regional), in the strengthened mode prepared on serious tournaments. But wrestling career didn't take place as it finished study in Lugansk technical school of transport construction, and was sent on distribution to Kazakhstan. Then it was called up for military service, I served in Belarus, then returned and I graduated from our agricultural institute as "civil engineer", in the same place and took dancing lessons as a part of Sonyashnik ensemble. Since 1980 I worked in Voroshilovgradselstroy trust, then it was called in gozbezopasnost bodies, I served in Lugansk Management, then in 1986, just after Chernobyl accident, it was transferred to Kiev in Central office.
- Besides the main operational work I was the member of emergency quick and wrestling group of fast reaction, - he tells. - In 1990 it was enlisted in department "And" KGB of the USSR, in the people speak "Alpha". After disorder of the country there was a reorganization, and I was enlisted in division of anti-terror of SBU, retired in a colonelcy, from a position of the deputy chief of an active service … All sports preparation on which I was inspired by the father in the childhood, was useful to me at the main work. I repeatedly protected honor of the structure at various wrestling, hand-to-hand wrestling, officer all-round competitions and other sports.
Stepan Ropayev left a noticeable trace in the history of the Soviet sports and adequately represented our edge at all-Union and international competitions and there was the first athlete of Luganshchina who was entitled "A deserved master of sports of the USSR". Therefore it will be fair if his fellow countrymen aren't limited to the memorial plate, but also will raise a question of renaming of one of streets of Lugansk in honor of Ropayev.
Ropayev Stepan Kuzmich
On January 2, 1915 – on March 24, 1984
The birthplace – Efremo-Stepanovk's village of the Kolushkinsky region of the Rostov region
The deserved master of sports of the USSR on Greco-Roman wrestling
Double champion of the USSR, repeated prize-winner of the USSR championship
The deserved trainer of USSR, the judge of all-Union category.
The winner and the prize-winner of all-Union and international tournaments on wrestling (classical and French).
The participant of the Great Patriotic War, has a set of military awards, among which – the Award of the Red Star, the Award of Patriotic war of 2 degrees, the medals "For Courage", "For Services in Battle" others.
The daughter – Ropayeva Tatyana Stepanovna, was born in 1949.
The son – Ropayev Sergey Stepanovich, was born in 1954.