It happened as it was actually predicted by experts from the sport. The successful performance of the Turkmen weightlifter Polina Guryeva at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo prompted a huge number of girls and boys to take active sports.
With the beginning of the new school year, the parents of teenagers learned where and what sections there are, which of the coaches to entrust their child to. The first Olympic medal of independent Turkmenistan, and besides, the silver dignity, aroused in society, and especially among sports fans, great interest in the history of the country's sports achievements.
Remembered the names of many national champions in various sports. But with special reverence and pride in those days the names of our eminent compatriots, winners of the Asian and World Championships, the Olympic Games, including the repeated world champion weightlifter Altymurad Orazdurdyev, silver medalist of the 1960 Roman Olympics, shooter Marat Niyazov, three-time Olympic champion rower Vladimir Morozov.
The most meticulous of the fans and amateurs of sports history in those days mentioned another name of the Turkmen athlete, little known to a wide audience, the first Olympic champion in the history of our country. Some called the sport - gymnastics, others called the name - either Yusup, or Joseph. The surname sounded -Berdyev.
From Wikipedia, archival materials, old newspaper files, as well as from conversations with sports experts, it turned out that such a person really existed. It turned out to be Yusup Berdyev.
The secret, or rather the real name and origin of Berdyev, was first revealed by the Turkmen historian Ovez Gundogdyev. In his book "Tekin Horse Regiment", published in 1992, he writes: "Ensign Kakadzhan Berdyev, father of the first Turkmen Olympic champion Yusup Kakadzhanovich Berdyev. Yusup was forced to change his name and surname because of the new wave of repressions that began. He became - Joseph Konstantinovich Berdyev ... "
And Yusup was born in Poltoratsk (Ashgabat) in 1924. He would have turned 97 in November. His father, a native of the Mary velayat, was a military man.
There is almost no information about the childhood and pre-war life of Yusup Kakadzhanovich, but his exploits during the Great Patriotic War are described in the archives in more than detail. Here is just information about three days from his frontline biography:
- on April 6, 1945, in the battles to break through the fortified area, Comrade Berdyev organized reconnaissance well and, being in the infantry battle formations, suppressed enemy machine guns with the fire of his battery;
- on April 7, 1945, in the Vilka area, Berdyev repulsed a counterattack of enemy infantry with his guns, suppressing the cannon fire, and destroyed 20 German soldiers;
- On April 9, in battles near the village of Moditen, under heavy enemy fire, advancing to the front line, Berdyev found two guns and two heavy machine guns of the enemy, which interfered with the advance of our infantry. With his fire, he destroyed the enemy's combat points, which provided the opportunity for our infantry to break into the settlement.
In April 1945, the commander of the battery of the artillery regiment, Senior Lieutenant Berdyev, was awarded the Order of the Red Star for heroic actions during the assault on Konigsberg.
He was distinguished from many by good health, slimness and fit. Affected by the pre-war hobby for gymnastics in Ashgabat. Berdyev then often played for the Dynamo teams of the capital of Turkmenistan and even Moscow. So he got to study at the Higher School of Coaches at the Military Institute of Physical Culture and Sports in Leningrad (St. Petersburg), which he successfully graduated in 1953.
The 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki contributed greatly to the successful completion of their studies. On the eve of the Games, he, as one of the best gymnasts in the vault, is enrolled in the national team for a trip to Helsinki.
The first gold medals in Helsinki were then brought to the country by gymnasts. Chronologically, on July 21, 1952, Yusup Berdyev was honored to be the first to perform on the Olympic platform of the spacious Messukhalli exhibition hall. He coped with his task more than successfully. As a result, a team of gymnasts, bypassing the world champions of the Swiss, became the champion of the XV Olympic Games.
After Helsinki, Yuri Berdyev went in for sports for a long time. Then, being the chairman of the sports club, he passed on his experience to the students of the Kiev Civil Engineering Institute. The famous gymnast passed away in February 1992.