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From the troubled childhood to winning world fame: about the boy who is driving the swimming industry crazy Israel today


His parents sent him to the gym to take care of his hump and pushed him through the difficult moments • He watched Michael Phelps compete for hours, and even though he was too lazy to go to training, it was clear that this was something special • On the way that the Romanian David Popovich took to become the most exciting discovery in the world of sports

Already at the age of 17, David Popovich reached the pinnacle of swimming this summer, when he won the gold medals in the 100 and 200 meter breaststroke at the World Championships in Hungary and instantly became one of the hottest swimmers in the world today and one to watch out for in the coming years. 

Yesterday (Saturday), Popovic, also known as 'Father Chlor', gave another stamp to this, when he broke the historical record in the 100 meter freestyle, and instantly became the favorite to win Romania's first gold medal, in the history of men's swimming, at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris . 

The talented swimmer who was born and raised in Bucharest, started swimming at the age of 4 for two main reasons: his parents hoped that this would be what would tire out the boy who had been running around the neighborhood all day and disturbing the neighbors and the second reason, was on the recommendation of a doctor, to correct the scoliosis in his back, which was already in an advanced stage. 

Popovich in action.

Does not enjoy going to training, photo: Reuters

Even though his parents put him in sports, even here he was rebellious and lazy in training, when every time he found another excuse to avoid it, when he once asked to go fix his binoculars, asked to go to the bathroom claiming that his head, shoulder or stomach hurt.

His coach from the age of 9, Adrian Radulescu, previously testified: "He has the character of Ryan Lochte. He has a lot of discipline problems and is lazy in training - while he claims he can't do push-ups, the rest of his team members have already done 100." 

Maybe he acts like Lochte, but he learns from the best - the American swimmers, whom he likes to watch before every practice, in YouTube videos, including the anointing of the swimming legend - Michael Phelps - the same one who has already participated in two Olympics, even before Popovich was born.

"I get inspiration from him," testified the young Romanian.

"I remember watching the live broadcast of Phelps' final swim at the Rio 2016 Olympics and I thought it was cool, since then I've made it a tradition and I love watching him swim." 


Romania on the map, photo: Reuters

They say you can't get far in sports without the support of your parents, and this is evidenced by the fact that David said in the past that he likes his parents to serve him breakfast in bed at 4:30, so that he has time to eat at an optimal time of two hours before training.

In addition, they would mix milk with cinnamon and honey for him in the trunk of the car, before swimming competitions, which led passers-by to wonder if he was drugged. 

After the Olympics were postponed due to the corona virus, Popovich was given enough time to achieve the criterion, when he got there and finished fourth in the 200-meter freestyle, with a new personal record of 1:44.68 minutes, just two hundredths of a second from the bronze medal.  

Now as mentioned, this is his breakout year and what a breakout it was.

"Swimming is not that popular in Romania, maybe now, after what I did yesterday, more people in Romania will be interested in me and swimming," Popovic quipped.

There is no doubt that, if not in Romania, millions more people will now follow perhaps the greatest talent that has emerged in recent years in the swimming industry. 

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Source: israelhayom

All sports articles on 2022-08-14

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