Mikhail Astashov: the path from a food deliverer to a Paralympic champion

The Siberian Mikhail Astashov is not called the Russian Nickname Vujicic for nothing – this man "made himself", despite his disability and lack of money and connections. We have already written about how this guy got a job in the food delivery service "Yandex. Food" to earn money for a trip to the Paralympics in Tokyo. His efforts were rewarded – Mikhail became a hero and champion of the games.

Mikhail Astashov: the path from a food deliverer to a Paralympic champion

Mikhail Astashov was born in October 1988 in the village of Khandagatai, Tarbagatai district of Buryatia. The mother immediately refused a special child who had neither arms nor legs, and little Misha ended up in the baby's house in Ulan-Ude. At the age of 4, the boy was transferred to a rehabilitation center in the city of Kus, Chelyabinsk region, where he lived and studied until the age of 16.

Mikhail Astashov: the path from a food deliverer to a Paralympic champion

The guy had one prospect ahead – a boarding house for the disabled, in which he was to spend the rest of his days. But a miracle happened and suddenly Misha's parents showed up. They took the teenager from the rehabilitation center to his homeland, in Buryatia.

Mikhail Astashov: the path from a food deliverer to a Paralympic champion

Thanks to the support of close people, Astashov got the opportunity to study and received the specialty of a computer operator at a professional lyceum. After that, he was able to enter the Faculty of Heritage and Information Technologies of the East Siberian State Institute of Culture.

Mikhail Astashov: the path from a food deliverer to a Paralympic champion

At the university, Mikhail became interested in table tennis and soon became the champion of Russia among juniors. But this was not enough – he seriously took up cycling, swimming and athletics. In addition, Astashov also made progress in badminton, which he liked to play with friends in his free time from studying and training.

Mikhail Astashov: the path from a food deliverer to a Paralympic champion

In 2019, Astashov won the World Cup in paratriathlon, and in 2020-the first place at the Russian Cycling Championship. Despite his amazing abilities and high-profile sports titles, few people knew Mikhail. For the first time, people started talking about the champion without arms and legs after he got a job as a courier in the Yandex.Food delivery service. In February 2020, Astashov gave an interview right at work and told reporters that he was earning money for a dream.

Mikhail Astashov: the path from a food deliverer to a Paralympic champion

And the Siberian guy's dream was to participate in the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo. Mikhail had no sponsors and patrons, and he needed to raise a lot of money. Publications about the purposeful athlete flew around Russian publications and soon there were people who were ready to help Astashov achieve his dream. In Tokyo, he represented two regions at once – the Sverdlovsk Region, which provided him with expensive equipment and paid for training and his native Buryatia.

Mikhail Astashov: the path from a food deliverer to a Paralympic champion

In Ulan-Ude, Mikhail is officially employed at the Sports Training Center, where he receives a salary. Unfortunately, no one was interested in Astashov at the level of high sports officials and the state did not want to finance obtaining a license to participate in the Paralympics. The Yekaterinburg deputy, the world champion in biathlon Denis Shipulin helped to realize the dream. He found a sponsor for Misha, who took care of all the expenses of the athlete.

Astashov did not let down the people who believed in him – in the qualification of the cycling pursuit race for 3000 meters, the Russian broke the world record. In the final, he not only won, but beat his nearest rival, Canadian Tristen Chernov by a whole lap! President Putin himself congratulated the champion, who expressed admiration for Mikhail's will to win.

Mikhail Astashov: the path from a food deliverer to a Paralympic champion

Now Mikhail will be able to live and train in peace, without worrying about the unsettled life and financial difficulties. The head of Buryatia, Alexey Tsydenov, promised to give Astashov an apartment in Ulan-Ude, and in addition, the hero of the Paralympic Games is entitled to 1.5 million rubles and a lifetime payment of 30 thousand rubles a month.

Keywords: Sports | Olympics | Celebrities | Tokyo | Athlete | Champion | Disability | News of the day

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