B.Shoovdor: All I need now is a medal from the Olympics

B.Shoovdor: All I need now is a medal from the Olympics

Athlete from the “Avragch” committee of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), International Master B.Shoovdor has been fighting on the world ring and raising the reputation of our country ever since becoming familiar with the freestyle wrestling. It is said that the efforts of her father and teachers greatly influenced her success and made her a world-renowned athlete. She has three silver and two bronze medals from the Asian Championships. She also won two bronze medals at the “World Championship”, became the champion of the “Mongolia Open” tournament and is a six-time adult National Champion. In 2015, after winning the “Golden Grand Prix” named after Yarygin, she won bronze medals at the World Championship held in Budapest, Hungary, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, and Oslo, Norway. She is the first female athlete from Mongolia to stand on the podium three times in a row in her six attempts at the world stage. She was invited to be interviewed at our newspaper. Please enjoy getting to know her.

Just before the new year, you received the title of Honored Athlete of Mongolia and made freestyle wrestling fans happy. At that time, it was noticed that many people thought you are worthy of this title. How are you getting used to your title?

  - Thank you. I am glad that I have not lost the trust and hope of wrestling fans who support me and watch my wrestling. Rather than getting used to this title, I am training hard to keep this prestigious title. The time is approaching to be called the Honored Athlete at this year’s National Championship for adults.

- There are many interesting facts about you, you started from volleyball player and now you are a freestyle wrestler. Does the advantage of playing team sports affect your wrestling?

- When I entered the world of sports, my father advised me and influenced me to make the right decision. At that time, he worked as a physical education teacher in Erdeneburen soum, Khovd Province. When I was young, I used to hang out in the gym watching my father teach physical education to his students. After moving from my hometown to Ulaanbaatar, I consulted with my family and studied volleyball for four years. There are many people who have helped me achieve success. Therefore, I remember this help all the time.

You played as a striker in the “Miner” club and won a bronze medal in the National Premier League in 2009. Do you still keep in touch with your teammates?

- Yes. When I played as a striker in the “Miner” club, I achieved incredible success. That year’s league match was my last though. I have played with my teammates since the seventh grade, so I am still close with them. We studied together in the mining vehicle equipment engineering class of the Mongolian University of Science and Technology. After studying for one year, I transferred to the National Institute of Physical Education and graduated as a coach in 2014. Team sports were not well developed in Mongolia at that time, so I decided to start freestyle wrestling. The basis of playing volleyball, endurance and toughness helped me practice freestyle wrestling. I think that if I had not played sports before, I would not have achieved the success I have today. Wrestling is not easy and there are many risks. It requires a lot of courage and patience from the athletes. Compared to my peers, I started wrestling later. When I started training at the age of 20, some of them had already become national team athletes and had won International Master titles, Olympic and World Championship medals.

You won a bronze medal three years in a row at the world stage. I am sure that Budapest, Hungary, Kazakhstan, and Norway have left unforgettable memories in your life?

- The wrestling ring of each country is different. For me, I went to the World Championship held in those countries with the goal of trying harder and achieving success. It was not easy to win a medal in Budapest, Nur-Sultan, and Oslo. It was a tough fight and a tough test that challenged me in many ways. I overcame everything with perseverance, courage and dreams and still stood on the medal stand. I still have fond memories of my victory there. An athlete sets big goals for themselves and strives for success. I also aspired to be like them. In 2014, I won a silver medal at the Asian Championship held in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, and was awarded the title of International Master. I am fulfilling my dreams step by step. It’s good to work for your dreams. If I didn’t aim and work hard, I wouldn’t have won three bronze medals at the World Championship.

It seems that before you set foot in Oslo, Norway in 2021, you came with a silver medal from the Asian Championship held in Almaty, Kazakhstan. That year brought you both luck and stars.

- Rather than being lucky, it taught me a great lesson. There was a chance to change the color of the medals of the Asian and World Championships, but it didn’t come as expected. However, during the years I dedicated my life to the sport of freestyle wrestling, I won three bronze medals from the Adult World Championship, two bronze medals from another World Championships, and won six times in the National Championship. I won three gold and two bronze medals from Yarygin’s “Golden Grand Prix” and three silver and two bronze medals from the Asian Championship.

You are one of many nameholders of Shoovdor who won the state title in the field of sports. This name has made you walk over the border many times, holding the crown of success and glory.

- I love the name that my parents gave me. There are many happy events in human life. The best moment is when Baatarjav’s Shoovdor is called on the continental and world stage. I like this name because I was successful in freestyle wrestling and won many medals. When I was born into the world, my father gave me the name of coach T.Shoovdor, who was awarded the Honored title in volleyball. My father practiced volleyball for many years and blessed me with this name to become a famous athlete like him.

Probably everything taught by your teachers A.Enkhtur, D.Batnyam, P.Sumiya was useful every time you go to the stage. They may have advised their students when they made mistakes and encouraged them to succeed?

- Every teacher has their own teaching method. I am always proud of my teachers who made me successful. I became a student of Khan-Uul District coach A.Enkhtur who taught me the alphabet of freestyle wrestling. He prepared me very well to become a good athlete. Later, I continued to learn under the guidance of teacher D.Batnyam and achieved many successes. Coach P.Sumiya never praised me in front of me. He works hard with me because he knows my strengths and weaknesses. But he cares his students and works hard to make them succeed. The hearts, hopes and works of my teachers are inseparable from my success. Every medal I won is a precious gift for my parents and teachers.

Among the best in the World Championship, you met Ale Romero Bonilla from Mexico in 2018, Anhelina Lysak from Ukraine in 2019, and Maya Nelson from the United States in 2021. You beat them and won the bronze medal, but what are you proud of and what strengths did you learn from them?

- Whenever I go onto the ring, I go with the intention of winning against any strong opponent. But I do not become egoistic and look down on them. Athletes must learn from their opponents and take stock of their wins and losses. There are many things you notice about your opponents during a fight. For example, Ale Romero Bonilla from Mexico is tall, fit and very strong, and Anhelina Lysak from Ukraine has good grip and technique. When they touch the body, they try to throw it away. USA’s Maya Nelson is a fighter, brave and determined. I learned these advantages from them.

After coming from Nur-Sultan, I remember you saying, "After winning the medal, the first person I looked for was my father, who was sitting in the audience, and when my father saw me receiving the award, he was happy.”

- I found out that my father came to the sports palace to watch my wrestling. But at the moment, I was only focused on my opponent’s wrestling, actions, and psychology. After the victory, I looked for my father among the crowd in the palace. Seeing me win the medal, my father was happy. At the Nur-Sultan stage, I fulfilled my wish that I at least make them proud, if I could not repay the favors of my parents. My family has supported me since I started freestyle wrestling. I have five sisters and one brother. During the years when I dedicated everything to success and rested, my family became a reliable support and moved forward with my defeats and victories.

- A mother is always worried about her children. What does she say on a competition day?

- Every time I cross the border, my mother says, “May my daughter fight well without getting injured” and offer the first cup of the freshly made tea to the world to pray. For me, I follow a diet when I participate in foreign and domestic competitions. When I come home, I eat my mother's homemade food as much as I want.

Athletes have few friends who care about them when they go to training and competitions. When have you last met your life, sports, school friends and what topics do you talk about?

- I rarely have time to meet my friends. I will meet occasionally after success. Shortly after receiving the Honored Athlete title, I met my childhood friends and shared funny memories of our childhood and school days.

What are your unfulfilled dreams?

- All I need now is a medal from the Olympics.

How do you motivate yourself when you are discouraged?

- There is no athlete anywhere who does not face obstacles and difficulties. I feel that I have no right to be discouraged because I am carrying the trust and hope of many people. The stakes in the sport are high and the field is competitive. When I was unsure about whether to stop or stay, my father sharpened and pushed me forward.

Are you the first person to receive Honored title from Erdeneburen soum, Khovd Province?

- I am proud of my hometown and respect it. For me, I am the second athlete born from Erdeneburen soum, who received the title of Honor from wrestling. There are many Honored titled celebrities from other fields. I visit my hometown every year and come back with energy and enthusiasm. I would like to thank my colleagues of “Avragch” committee of NEMA, members of the 120th unit, national freestyle wrestling team, Sports Medicine Center, Member of Parliament B.Purevdorj, Governors of Zereg and Erdeneburen soum of Khovd province, my father, mother, sister, brother, teachers and coaches who have always supported me to become successful.

Amarjargal Munkhbat