I can already hear the complaints now. "Ridiculous!
" you say.
"How can you call the great Dmitry Sautin obscure?! He's only won the
most career medals of any diver in Olympic history!" And I won't
dispute that. In fact, I'll raise you one: not only is Dmitry Sautin
the most decorated diver in Olympic history, he is the most decorated
athlete in Olympic history who was ever almost stabbed to death in a street fight
factoid was revealed to me during last night's Olympic broadast as
Sautin and his partner prepared for a dive in the men's springboard
synchronized diving competition, which I dutifully watched. Cynthia
Potter, the Olympic diving color commentator (and all-around bitch
if you ask me) was highlighting the various injuries that Sautin has
suffered during his career as a diver. These include "...a knee
injury, chronic back pain, stab wounds to the stomach as a teenager
, shoulder problems..."
Wait, what? Back that up for me please, dear.
stab wounds are unrelated to diving, obviously," Potter helpfully
added. She then went on to explain why the next dive, perfect to my
untrained eye, was actually perhaps the worst she had ever seen in
competition, and the two divers should be kneecapped before being
allowed to continue and sully the majestic sport of synchro diving. (I
might be exaggerating, but only a little).
So, how does one go from a blissful life as a world-class diver to a knife fight in the streets of Voronezh?
"Back in 1991, when he was 17, he became embroiled in an argument with the son of an official of the Soviet communist party."
Oops! But surely someone associated with the Soviet communist party wouldn't overreact to a simple argument, would they?
"His adversary pulled out a knife and stabbed the unarmed teenager four times in the stomach. Sautin
almost bled to death and spent two months in [the] hospital but the following
summer he was competing at the Barcelona Olympics and winning his first
Surely he had put all his serious medical trouble behind hi...never mind.
"In 2001 came news that he had been the victim of a botched hospital operation in Moscow two years previously. He
needed the operation because treatment for a back injury had left him
with an infection but during the operation, a local newspaper quoted
him as saying, 'they forgot to take out the dressing and sewed me up
just like that'."