Meet a sportsman who's currently on his way to the World Championships in Orlando. He will make his dreams come true... Roman Gromov! Enjoy! ()
Roman Gromov: I'm 29 and I come from Ukraine. I've been doing armwrestling since 2007. I'm a multiple Ukrainian champion and medalist of youth, juniors and seniors. A bronze medalist of the European Championships 2014. Then I moved to the USA...
PeSzy: Why did you go to the USA?
Roman Gromov: I was a university student back then and it was really interesting for me to get to know everything that was new, especially the culture and traditions of different countries. Another reason was that I couldn't fit in with the everyday reality of my homeland Ukraine. I couldn't agree with the common belief that everyone should just mind their own business, and I especially wanted freedom and prosperity for my future family, and I understood this after being in the US for a while.
PeSzy: So you could say that you first created a "base", so you got a job and a home. And then you started looking for armwrestling? How did it go?
Roman Gromov: I came to the USA as an exchange student but it turned out that at the time of expiry of this program I got the opportunity to get a work visa so I had to move to another state and then another one in 6 months. The story that can’t be briefly described. I couldn't make the "base" for 3 years because I lived in 3 different states during that time and everything I owned could fit into two cars.
PeSzy: What are your achievements in the USA so far?
Roman Gromov: I'm a multiple champion of multiple states in multiple categories because 90% of the time I sign up for 2-3 weight categories, above my weight class. In 2015 I took part in WAL where I became a finalist in the Regional Tournament and took the 6th place in the Final. I have won against competitors like: Corey Miller, Eduardo Tiete, Vazgen Soghoyan, Cobra Rhodes, Brent Rakers, Tony Kitowsky, Bob Brown, Geof Hale, Bill Logsdon, Devin Bair, Jason Reemer, Luke Kindt, Ron Klemba. I'm currently ranked 1st in the USA (https://armfighter.com/rankings/). I try to expose myself to as many projects, tournaments and leagues as I can – that is all a valuable experience, John Brzenk himself did the same thing. And for that, you can't find a country better than the United States!
PeSzy: Do you plan to start in the upcoming World Championships in Orlando?
Roman Gromov: Of course! Since tournaments of this rank are very rare in the USA!
Photo: Two One Se7en
PeSzy: Will you be representing the USA or Ukraine?
Roman Gromov: The USA. Ever since the beginning I planned and wanted to start with team Ukraine, because it would add “colors of the flags” to the tournament, but then I thought that after all my goal is to represent the USA on the international scale and improve as an armwrestler in this country! Most of my rivals and friends already know that I'm Ukrainian so they will see me as an Ukrainian holding the American flag.
PeSzy: What's your typical day like? How do you combine work with training?
Roman Gromov: With the birth of my daughter everything has become a little difficult, but I've already managed to find some more time for training. I try to train twice a day, wake up early and do stimulating or endurance training, and in the evening do strength trainings. Of course, it all depends on the cycle and schedule of competition. Obviously, it doesn't always work for one to work out every morning and evening, but I try to go to the gym more often. I think that combining training and personal life is an issue of motivation and priorities so it's highly subjective and personal.
PeSzy: One more question: Is armwrestling in the USA different than in Ukraine?
Roman Gromov: Armwrestling in the USA and in Ukraine is definitely very different and the main difference for me is the lack of professionalism with organizing competitions, especially with the referees. There are many people who love our sport, they try to develop it and organize competitions but more often than not it turns out that the venues are not at all suitable for armwrestling (for example some tight bars or loud fairs where you can't even hear who's called for the match). And sometimes the venue and the atmosphere are good (e.g. conference halls in hotels, exhibition halls etc.) but the "referees" at the tournament not only they don’t know how to ref, they don't even know how to armwrestle themselves. Besides that Americans know how to make a show! They're great in this aspect. In Ukraine everything was always clear when it came to the venue, as well as referring. The bottom line is that athletes could sense the seriousness of the event. Both of the countries could learn a lot from each other.
PeSzy: Thank you for the interview, I'm looking forward to your results at the World Championships!
Roman Gromov: I'll do my best! Greetings!