Cobar High School had a visit from Australian Olympian Alex Almoukov last week with the Biathlete talking candidly to Year 9 and 10 students about his journey to the Olympics.
The visit to Cobar was part of a western area schools tours with Almoukov also talking to students in Dubbo, Nyngan and Brewarrina as part of the Olympics Unleashed program which promotes the Olympic spirit.
Cobar High PD/H/PE teacher Alexandra Hernando said the school had been fortunate to host an athlete of Almoukov’s calibre who spoke about his experiences as a young teenager training in winter Biathlons (a sport that combines cross country skiing and rifle shooting), and the challenges he overcame along the way.
Almoukov came to Australia at age seven with his father Nick, who was a former Russian elite competitor turned top-level coach and he began seriously competing in Biathlons at 18.
As part of his visit last week, Almoukov shared with students his personal struggles with school, admitting he was a very lazy child.
“He also spoke about his commitment to training to become an Olympic athlete and that he has been training since he was 13,” Ms Hernando said.
At 16 Almoukov moved overseas to train full time in Biathlon and then competed in two Olympics and also won a medal for Australia at the World University Games.
“His personal story was interesting and he was relatable as a kid,” Ms Hernando said.
“His experience of training in a winter sport was interesting/fascinating for our students as many have not seen snow, or heard of or seen the sport he competes in.”
Almoukov spoke about the attributes of people who achieve – including determination and resilience, and said that without having the right mindset we will not achieve our goals or push past our fears.
“We will definitely be tuning in to watch the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and 2022 Winter games in Beijing!” Ms Hernando said.